Members of the Sharif family failed to appear before National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigators in Lahore on Sunday for a probe into a reference related to the Sharifs' Avenfield properties, a NAB spokesperson told DawnNews.
According to NAB spokesperson Asim Ali Nawazish, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons ─ Hassan and Hussain Nawaz ─ his daughter, Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain Safdar were summoned to appear between 10am to 2pm.
Nawazish added that it was unlikely that the members of the Sharif family would appear before the investigating team today.
A Sharif family spokesperson quoted by DawnNews claimed the family had not received a summons from NAB.
Notifications had been issued to all five members of the Sharif family on Friday to appear before investigators today.
The former premier, Maryam and Capt Safdar had received their notifications and were summoned to make individual appearances at the Lahore offices, according to the bureau. Hassan and Hussain, however, were out of town and therefore, did not receive the notifications issued to them.
The NAB team, under the supervision of director general Saleem Shahzad, proceeded with its inquiry into the Avenfield flats on Sunday morning. None of the Sharif family members, however, turned up at the Lahore offices.
Last week, NAB had summoned Nawaz and his two sons to appear before it in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.
However, the former prime minister and both his sons decided not to appear before the NAB team till Nawaz's petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s verdict that disqualified him from office is decided.
Nawaz has also moved a separate application in the SC with a request to suspend the final verdict in the Panama Papers case as long as the review petition is pending.
On July 28, a five judge larger bench of the SC while disqualifying Nawaz under Article 62(1)( f) of the Constitution had asked NAB to file four references in the Rawalpindi accountability court within six weeks on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the Joint Investigation Team ─ which probed allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family ─ as well as that already available with the Federal Investigation Agency and NAB.
According to the court order, NAB has to file a reference against Sharif; his children and son-in-law in connection to four upscale flats in London.
Another reference against Sharif and his sons about Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment and one regarding 16 other companies were also ordered. The companies are Flagship Investments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE (Dubai).
The fourth reference has to be filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds beyond his known sources of income.
Independent commentators have said that NAB's probe into large-scale corruption allegations against the Sharif family could set the standard for accountability in Pakistan for all times to come.
The cases are an acid test for the ousted prime minister who is fighting his case both in courts as well as before what he described as people’s jury.