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LAHORE: A day before ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif is appearing before an accountability court in Islamabad in corruption and money laundering cases, the National Accountability Bureau, Lahore, on Monday launched another investigation into illegal allotment of plots against him.

The decision to open the decades-old case against Mr Sharif was taken in a meeting of NAB here on Monday which was presided over by Director General Shahzad Salim.

“The NAB has re-launched investigation for allotting Lahore Development Authority plots to 13 people in violation of the rules and the laid-down procedure in 1990s,” a NAB official told Dawn.

He said the bureau had summoned all beneficiaries for Sept 29 and notices were served on them through Lahore police chief Amin Wains.

Another probe into FIA hirings likely

The inquiry [into illegal allotment of plots] had been pending with NAB for over a decade.

“The investigation into the case was initiated in 2000s but later it was not pursued owing to some pressure,” a source said, adding the file was ‘lost’ in the [NAB] record for years till the bureau got a direction from the top authorities to re-investigate the case.

“Nawaz Sharif will be summoned [in this case] after NAB records statements of the beneficiaries,” he said.

The source said NAB was likely to re-open another case of illegal recruitments in the Federal Investigation Agency against Mr Sharif. “After 2008 when the PPP government assumed power almost all inquiries [against politicians] were swept under the carpet,” he said.

NAB has already filed three references against Nawaz Sharif and his children – Hassan, Hussain and Maryam – son-in-law Muhammad Safdar and one against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability courts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The references are related to their offshore holdings - Avenfield Properties (London), Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metal Company and the other companies of the Sharif family that include 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.

Mr Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers case.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017