National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Thursday directed the bureau to complete the 16 inquiries pending against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, it has emerged.

The decision was reportedly taken during an executive board meeting on July 31, in the same meeting where it was decided to file four references against Sharif family and others, in line with the Supreme Court's judgement in Panama Papers case, DawnNews reported.

It is pertinent to mention that 14 inquiries against Nawaz and two against Shahbaz were initiated in 2000 and 2001 after Musharraf took power. However, following the deal which resulted in the Sharifs being exiled to Jeddah, the cases were put on the back-burner. The cases were reopened on April 12, 2006, and have been pending since.

The inquiries against the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif relate to alleged illegal appointments in Federal Investigation Agency, alleged irregularities in allotment of Lahore Development Authority plots and construction of Raiwind road. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif faces inquiries regarding alleged illegal allotment of plots in Nawan Kot and on Raiwind Road.

According to NAB record, in at least three of these cases, the beneficiaries have either voluntarily returned some money or paid the difference to compensate for losses to the state exchequer.

Earlier on Monday, NAB decided to file references against Nawaz Sharif, his children and son-in-law, as well as the former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

“The meeting was held in compliance of honourable Supreme Court’s judgement dated July 28, 2017, regarding the Panama [Papers] case. It was decided to file four references in the accountability courts of Islamabad/Rawalpindi in the stipulated time period of six weeks from the date of judgement,” said an official press release issued from the NAB headquarters.

Disqualifying Nawaz as a member of parliament, the SC had ordered NAB to file six references against Sharif family and others in the Panama Papers case judgement last Friday. Earlier, the SC had formed a joint investigation team to probe Sharif family's business dealings because it had felt that the NAB chairman was "indifferent and even unwilling to perform his part".

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