NAB summons former premier Nawaz Sharif on March 31 in private property case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has sent summons to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, asking him to appear in court in connection with a private property case.

According to the notice, sent to Nawaz at his London address, he is required to appear before the anti-graft body’s joint investigation team (JIT) on March 31.

NAB has launched a probe into the sale of private property dating back to 1986, a time when Nawaz was the chief minister of Punjab.

Currently, Nawaz Sharif is in London seeking treatment for various illnesses.

The case

As part of the investigation into the property’s sale, editor-in-chief of the Jang and Geo Media Group, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, was arrested on March 12 over allegations he had bought the property illegally.

The property in question had been bought from a private party, and all the evidence, including legal requirements such as duty and taxes, to this effect, were provided to the anti-graft body.

MSR had gone on a call-up notice for verification of the complaint, but the arrest was made, in violation of court orders and NAB rules barring the body from investigating businessmen.

During a court hearing in the matter on March 13, the court asked the NAB prosecutor, Hafiz Asadullah, to explain why the Bureau had placed MSR under arrest.

“We started investigations against [MSR] in December 2019,” Asadullah said.

“When Nawaz Sharif was chief minister, [MSR] obtained 54 plots from him,” he alleged.

“[MSR] illegally obtained plots from the LDA (Lahore Development Authority). He could not provide us with records related to these plots,” added the NAB prosecutor.

MSR said that NAB had refused to listen to his answers when he appeared for the March 12 hearing.

“I was issued a notice two days ago which asked me to come to the NAB offices with everything [documents related to the inquiry],” he told reporters at the time of his arrest.

“I appeared before NAB. I told them that I have brought written answers and would respond to all their queries. I was asked additional questions too, which I answered.”

“NAB did not listen to my answers. They have a recording of my answers and I wish that recording was released to the media. This is the second time I was not heard by the accountability body,” he had said.

MSR has been remanded into NAB’s custody till April 7.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif was called to attend a hearing on March 20 but did not return to Pakistan. Today’s notice marks the second summons issued to him.