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LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has approved initiating the process of bringing back former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hasan and Hussain, former finance minister Ishaq Dar and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Ali Imran Yousaf from London through Interpol.

The NAB chairman gave the approval during a meeting with the bureau’s officials in Lahore on Tuesday.

An accountability court has already declared Hasan and Hussain Nawaz and Ishaq Dar proclaimed offenders (POs) in corruption references against them. Mr Yousaf is wanted by NAB in the Saaf Pani Company scam.

Anti-graft watchdog approves bringing back Nawaz’s sons Hussain and Hasan, Ishaq Dar and Shahbaz’s son-in-law through Interpol

According to a source, NAB has decided to go after them to meet legal requirements in the cases against them. “Since Hasan, Hussain and Ishaq Dar have been declared POs and Yousaf skipped three consecutive NAB hearings and is hiding in London, NAB has to initiate the process of bringing them back to complete the legal formalities,” he said, adding that NAB was writing to the interior ministry to take up the matter of bringing the four accused back to the country with the help of Interpol.

Talking to reporters in London, Hussain Nawaz shrugged off the NAB move, saying “there is a rule of law in Britain and nothing can happen beyond the ambit of law”.

Hasan and Hussain were declared POs last year after they consistently skipped the court’s proceedings in three graft references pertaining to their Park Lane flats and the establishment of offshore companies.

Mr Dar, who is facing a corruption reference with regard to assets beyond known sources of income, left for London last year and extended his stay there on medical grounds.

Mr Yousaf left for London a couple of months ago after evidence emerged that he allegedly received Rs120 million and Rs28m from officials of the Punjab Power Development Company and Saaf Pani Company.

The NAB chairman also approved an inquiry into those matters referred to it by the Supreme Court. These included investigation into the affairs of Punjab Institute of Cardiology, appointment of Overseas Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti and Wapda officials’ involvement in the Neelum-Jhelum power project affairs and probe against former chief executive officer of the Punjab Population Innovation Fund Jawad Qureshi, Punjab Health Management Company CEO Zahir Abbas, Urban Sector Planning and Management Company CEO Dr Nasir Jawad, Saaf Pani Company south CEO retired Capt Muhammad Usman, Punjab Health Facilities Management Company CEO Muhammad Ali Ammar and former vice president of the National Bank of Pakistan Usman Saeed.

Justice Iqbal also authorised inquiry against two private companies — Agri Tech Limited and Alizgard Nine — and Hammad Arshad of Globaco and DHA Lahore City.

He directed the NAB officials not to take into account the position of any suspect and go after them (suspects) in accordance with the law. “NAB has not only to recover looted money but also take culprits to task,” he said, directing them to ensure 100 per cent transparency in investigation.

NAB Lahore Director Gen­eral Shahzad Saleem info­rm­ed the chairman that an amount of Rs18 billion had been recovered in different scams and distributed among the affected people.

According to a source in NAB, the anti-graft watchdog has also decided to bring back to Pakistan Saifur Rehman, a confidant of Nawaz Sharif and former chief of the now defunct Ehtesab Bureau, through Interpol.

Keeping in view media reports and possibilities that Nawaz Sharif might not return from the UK, NAB was also considering the same option to bring him back through Interpol, the source said, adding that the bureau also planned to place the name of former secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad on the Exit Control List (ECL).

He is allegedly involved in the Ashiyana Housing Scheme and Saaf Pani Company scams.

“The names of Fawad Hassan Fawad and Punjab health secretary Ali Jan and provincial secretary Najam Shah will be placed on the ECL,” the source said, adding that recently arrested former CEO of Saaf Pani Company Wasim Ajmal had sought to become an approver in the case against Shahbaz Sharif after which NAB summoned the former Punjab chief minister next month to record his statement in the case.

Wasim Ajmal’s decision to become the approver is believed to be a big blow to Shahbaz Sharif who is still in the country and kicked off his election campaign from Karachi on Tuesday.

NAB had arrested Wasim Ajmal and Qamarul Islam of Saaf Pani Company on Monday.

Qamarul Islam, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has been given the party ticket to contest the election against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan from NA 59 (Rawalpindi).

The source said NAB had also prepared a reference against the former director general of Lahore Development Authority and others in the Saaf Pani Company scam and it would be filed in an accountability court on Wednesday (today).

Meanwhile, Khawaja Saad Rafique, a close aide to the Sharifs and former Railways minister, can also be in hot water as NAB has decided to challenge his affidavit submitted to an accountability court that he had no link with Paragon Housing Society in Lahore.

He is accused of being involved in an illegal land deal in the housing society.

“NAB has solid evidence which established Saad Rafique’s links with Paragon Housing Society,” the source said.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2018