ISLAMABAD: An accountability court has returned four references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against members of Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Four references were filed against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children – Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Nawaz, her husband Capt (r) Muhammad Safdar and the finance minister in compliance with the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict in the Panamagate case.
The references were returned after accountability court registrar Ahmed Mushtaq Qureshi found technical errors in them and directed the national anti-graft watchdog to file them after rectifying the errors.
A day before, the court registrar had returned two reference with regard to the Sharif family’s flats in a posh London neighborhood and Flagship Investments. Whereas, he returned today the third reference pertaining to the ruling family’s Al-Azizia Steel Mill.
He also returned the reference against finance minister Ishaq Dar with direction to remove the errors highlighted by him and then file it along with others afresh.
Three references were filed against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his children and son-in-law under Section 9A of NAB Ordinance 1999 along with its 14 sub-clauses.
The cited section of the ordinance is about transferring assets through illegal means.
Section 31A has also been incorporated in a reference against deposed PM’s daughter Maryam Nawaz for impeding the probe into the family’s offshore properties, who could face imprisonment for three years.
Another reference was registered against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in compliance with the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict in the Panamagate case under Section 14C for possessing assets beyond the known sources of his income.
Sharif family members and Dar could face up to 14 years imprisonment, hefty penalties, and freezing of their properties if the accountability court rules that a violation of mentioned sections of the NAB Ordinance 1999 has taken place as suggested in the report compiled by Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
According to informed sources, the accountability court can disqualify the public representatives and impose lifetime ban on contesting elections and holding public offices over violation of NAO’s referred sections.
A five-judge bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan on July 28 announced a judgment in Panamagate case, disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister.
Soon after the SC judgement, the PM House issued a terse statement saying that Nawaz Sharif, despite having reservations on the court verdict, has stepped down from his post as the premier.
Sharif served as prime minister twice in the 1990s before he was ousted in a 1999 coup leading to a decade of exile. He won a third term as prime minister in May 2013 general election.
Published in Daily Times, September 13th 2017.