An accountability court on Wednesday summoned ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons – Hussain and Hassan Nawaz – on Sept 19 in connection with a NAB reference with regard to the ownership of offshore companies.
The court a day before accepted the reference against Sharif and his sons related to their offshore companies while rejecting three others against them, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law retired Capt Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in connection with the Panama Papers case.
Earlier, the national anti-graft watchdog filed four references against members of the Sharif family and the finance minister in compliance with the Supreme Court verdict in the Panamagate case.
Three of four references were returned after court registrar Ahmed Mushtaq Qureshi found technical errors in them and directed the NAB to file them after rectifying the errors. The references returned back were about the Sharif family’s flats in a posh London neighborhood, Al-Azizia Steel Mill and owning assets disproportionate to the known source of income.
Three references were filed under Section 9A of NAB Ordinance 1999 along with its 14 sub-clauses, which 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 filed 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.