The Directorate General of Immigration and Passports on Friday blocked the passports of former Railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique following an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with its ongoing investigation into the Paragon Housing Scheme ‘corruption’ case.
With the approval given by the immigration department, the Rafique brothers along with their acquaintance Qaiser Amin Butt have been blacklisted under category 'B' for future passport facilities, which means that the trio "shall not be granted passport facilities without the approval of the directorate general".
On October 11, Saad and Salman had filed petitions in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking protective bail and legal protection against the alleged harassment at the hands of NAB. However, the petitions were turned down by the court that same day.
The counsel for Saad Rafique had informed the bench that the former minister had been served call-up notices regarding inquiries into different cases. He had requested the court to grant a 15-day protective bail to his client, citing the by-polls scheduled for October 14 in Saad's constituency.
But the bench questioned why the PML-N leader had not approached the Lahore High Court, which was the appropriate forum for him to seek protective bail, and turned down both petitions.
NAB had launched an investigation in November last year into a mega land scam involving Khwaja Saad Rafique’s Paragon Housing Society in Lahore and the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC).
Saad Rafique maintains he had neither been director nor a shareholder of Paragon City Private Limited or ever had any say in its affairs.