LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau is unlikely to summon all five members of the Joint Investigation Team constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the Sharif family’s offshore holdings after Wajid Zia, who led the JIT, recorded on Wednesday his statement on the remaining cases being investigated by the NAB Lahore office.
The bureau is reported to have also dropped the idea of issuing a third and final summons to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after the ousted premier left for London on Wednesday to see his ailing wife.
“NAB is now set to file four references against the Sharif family and Mr Dar after Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia recorded his statement in the cases pending against them in the Lahore chapter of NAB on Wednesday,” a NAB official told Dawn.
He said the other JIT members — Amer Aziz of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Executive Director Bilal Rasool, NAB Director Irfan Naeem Mangi, Brig Muhammad Nauman Saeed of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Brig Kamran Khurshid of the Military Intelligence — will not be asked to appear before NAB to record their statements.
Sharif will not be issued a final summons since he has already left for London
“Mr Zia stayed at the Lahore bureau for more than three hours and recorded his statement...he also submitted a reply to the questionnaire given to him regarding the London properties of the Sharif family,” a source told Dawn.
He said the Volume 10 of the JIT report that dealt with the mutual legal business agreements between the Sharif family and different governments also came under discussion.
The JIT was required to give NAB its input in preparation of the references against the Sharif family.
According to the source, NAB will not summon other five members of the JIT since its head had provided sufficient details of its investigation into the Sharif family’s offshore holdings.
“After recording the statement of the JIT head, NAB is almost ready to file references against Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hasan and Husain, daughter Maryam and her husband Mohammad Safdar and Mr Dar,” he said, adding that since Mr Sharif had gone to London, NAB had dropped the idea of issuing a final summons to him.
Last week, the Supreme Court’s monitoring judge (Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan) had allowed NAB to quiz the JIT members to meet all legal requirements.
Justice Ahsan was nominated the supervisory judge in line with the directives of the July 28 Panama Papers judgement to monitor and supervise the working of NAB as well as to oversee the proceedings in the accountability court.
The SBP and the SECP had earlier handed over records of the Sharif family’s bank accounts and companies to NAB. The Federal Board of Revenue has also reportedly submitted tax returns data of Mr Sharif, his family and Mr Dar.
The ousted prime minister’s family and the finance minister have filed review pleas against the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict, stating that they would only appear before NAB once the petitions are decided.
NAB had earlier announced that it would file four references against the Sharif family and Mr Dar after Eidul Azha.
Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2017