“The reference against Sharif brothers was sent by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and it will be decided on merit,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal said while addressing a media briefing at the NAB headquarters. Replying to a question about the reports that President Asif Ali Zardari has directed the NAB chairman to initiate an inquiry against the Sharifs and reopen pending cases against them, the spokesman said the president had only directed the NAB chairman to ensure that there was no political victimisation. Malik had earlier claimed he had evidence to prove that the PML-N leaders were involved in laundering $32 million.
Iqbal said NAB has so far recovered Rs 2.012 billion from Rental Power Plants (RPPs) on the directives of the Supreme Court (SC). Giving details, he said Rs 109 million were recovered from Pakistan Power House and Walter International, Rs 546 million from Techno Engineering, Rs 50 million from Young Generation, Rs 225 million from Gulf company and Rs 100 million from Reshma company. The bureau has recorded the statements of former power minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Shaukat Tareen and Liaquat Jatoi, but no money has been recovered from them, he said, adding the three will be summoned again if needed.
The NAB spokesman said the Interior Ministry has not yet put the names of ministers involved in RPPs’ case on the Exit Control List (ECL) despite a request by NAB. Responding to a question, he said that nobody has been given clean chit in the case, rather NAB is in the process of recovery from the RPPs. Moreover, the bureau has also sent its teams to inspect the sites of RPPs and teams are busy finalising their reports. Iqbal said NAB was in contact with an army team questioning generals named in NLC corruption reference.
According to sources, the cases relate to default of Rs4.9 billion loans obtained from nine banks in 1994-95.
“Cases against Sharif brothers were to be approved in a recent NAB board meeting but were deferred on the directives of the Chairman, Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari,” an official of the bureau said on Monday.
The chairman is reported to have said that all pending cases about politicians would be taken up soon.
The NAB spokesman was not available for comment.
The bureau had earlier frozen some assets of the Sharif family against which the loans had been taken.
The Supreme Court upheld in January a judgment of the Lahore High Court asking NAB to release the assets of the Sharif family. It dismissed an appeal by NAB Prosecutor General K.K. Agha against LHC’s Oct 4, 2011, directive to the bureau to return Rs115 million and property of Hudabiya Paper Mills lying with the National Bank, Islamabad.
The sources said the assets had not been released so far.
The prosecutor general had told the Supreme Court that before heading to Saudi Arabia in December 2002, Nawaz Sharif had consented to return money to NAB under an agreement.
When contacted, PML-N spokesman Mushahidullah said the party’s chief and his family were not defaulters of any bank loan. “That was the reason Nawaz Sharif demanded of the government to make public details of all bank loans not repaid by politicians,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said the value of the frozen assets was far higher than the amount of loans obtained. “Once their assets are released, they will pay the loans,” he said.
The loans were taken from the NBP, Habib Bank, United Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Punjab Mudaraba, Bank of Punjab, Agriculture Development Bank, Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation and ICP Bank.
During the proceedings in the Supreme Court, the NAB prosecutor general submitted an agreement signed by Nawaz Sharif and the Musharraf government.
The LHC had declared the taking over of property of the petitioners as unconstitutional, ultra vires under NAO, 1999, and without lawful authority. It had also ordered payment of compensatory cost of Rs150,000 per petition to Hudabiya mills, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Mian Mohammad Abbas Sharif.
ISLAMABAD: Government land costing billions of rupees on the Murree Road has allegedly been allotted.
While widening the Murree Road in 1998-99, the then Punjab chief minister, who also holds the post now [Shahbaz Sharif], had decided to allot alternate land instead of financial compensation to some of the affected persons.
Working swiftly, the Highways Department first got transferred six acres of land on the main Murree Road owned by the Agriculture Department in their own names and then transferred it illegally to fake victims.
The Revenue department had also declared the allotment illegal six years back. After probe, it was learnt that land was provided to Raja Abdul Latif without any legal justification ignoring the legal claimant Zia Rashid.
Likewise, Raja Shafqat, son of Raja Mohammad Siddiq, was also allotted land while the actual claimant, Mohammad Hashim Khan, son of Haji Manzoor Hussain, was ignored. Two other real claimants Mohammad Usman and Jamila Akhtar were also not included in the list.
A six-member committee consisting of officials of the Revenue and Highways departments in the light of a detailed report of tehsildar Rawalpindi had ruled that all bogus allotments may be cancelled and the land illegally allotted maybe got vacated. The committee had also ruled that the genuine affected persons may be given alternate lands elsewhere.
Punjab, with Lahore as its bustling capital, contains half of Pakistan’s population. The provincial government is in the hands of the conservative, mildly Islamist party of a former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. In a speech in March his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who is chief minister, pleaded with the Taliban to leave Punjab alone as his administration shared their ideology of keeping out “foreign dictation” (ie, Americans). Officials bristle at comparisons between Punjab, which is moderately well run, and the lawless tribal areas.
It is correct to say that there has been no territorial takeover by extremists in any part of the province, nor any enforcement of Islamic law. However, Punjab functions as an ideological nursery and recruiting ground for militants throughout the country. Distinctions between the Taliban in the north-west and older jihadi groups in Punjab have broken down. The federal government says Punjabi groups have been responsible for most of the big terrorist attacks in the province.
Punjab’s minister of law, Rana Sanaullah, went on the campaign trail in February with the reputed head of Sipah-e-Sahaba, for a by-election in the southern town of Jhang. The two rode through the streets in an open-top vehicle. The minister says that he was just trying to bring the group into the mainstream. Jhang is Sipah-e-Sahaba’s headquarters; the group makes little effort to hide its presence there.
Another outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed, is based in Bahawalpur, also in southern Punjab, where it has a huge seminary. Former members of both organisations are integral parts of the Pakistani Taliban. Another group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the devastating attack on Mumbai in 2008, also has Punjab as its home. “The Punjab government is not only complacent, there is a certain ambivalence in their attitude” towards extremists, says Arif Nizami, a political analyst based in Lahore. “They compete for the religious vote bank.”
Mr Falur Rehman Niazi sahib, who is president of PML-N lawyers wing federal capital Islamabad and is a lawyer himself and has been president for many years, he garlanded a self confessed murderer. Please answer Nawaz Sharif
Recent agitation against the Punjab government on the intermediate result fiasco, underscores the growing wedge between the youth and a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) desperate to woe the younger generation. The protests could not have come at a worse time for the Sharif’s, who are trying to mobilise the public against the federal government. Following the cancellation of the intermediate exams at four Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) centres in Punjab, students and the youth have raised fingers at the credentials of the Punjab Chief Minister (CM) to mount an anti-corruption campaign against the federal government. The failure of the online examination system across Punjab has sparked anger that now risks the 28 October rally by the Sharif brothers against the federal government, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday.
Students have asked on what grounds are the Sharif brothers taking out a rally against corruption when the education boards in their own province had become the hub of corruption. While the Punjab CM was visiting education institutes to garner support, the cancellation of Inter-1 result at four BISE boards, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan and Faisalabad, sparked rage amongst students who chanted slogans against Shahbaz and Nawaz Sharif and set Punjab government advertisements on fire. After his Inter result was cancelled, student Wasif Ali said,
“Everytime I find the Punjab CM criticising corruption by the federal government, I want to ask him: what happened at the four BISE boards, Mr CM?”
– Wasif Ali
“Is it because of his love for education that no permanent education minister has been appointed in Punjab,” he said, “the education ministry has failed due to its incompetence and the CM should not expect the youth to turn up at his rally.”
“The parents of female students are sitting on roads and chanting slogans against the Punjab government but his government has ordered police to beat up students protesting for their rights. Why should we join him in the rally?” Kashif asked. Another intermediate student, Adeel Ahmad said it was ironic the PML-N was holding a rally against corruption when the CM himself was supervising corruption in Punjab. “While Shahbaz has rightly suspended the BISE Chairman and Controller, no action has been initiated against the man behind the fiasco, BISE It Consultant Dr Majid Naeem, who is related to a PML-leader,” Adeel said.
He said it was common knowledge that Dr Majid had corruptions cases registered against Majid, who had been terminated from Punjab University on corruption charges. He said the fact that the PML-N was turning a blind eye to Majid’s corruption, showed their hypocrisy.
PML-N President, Mian Nawaz Sharif, made an unannounced dash to Dubai Thursday afternoon and returned to Pakistan the same evening. The visit was kept completely under wraps and even the senior most party leaders had no idea that their leader had gone missing from the country for a few hours.
According to a source, Mr. Sharif also held an “important meeting lasting a couple of hours” with some undisclosed individuals; however no further details were available on this count and could not be confirmed by another independent source.
According to details, Nawaz Sharif landed in Dubai late afternoon and drove straight to the residence of Senator Ishaq Dar, whose son is married to Nawaz Sharif’s daughter. When contacted, Senator Pervez Rashid (PML-N) insisted that there was nothing unusual or “mysterious” about the visit and that Mr. Sharif had gone to Dubai to meet his daughter and to deal with some family matters.
Responding to another query he said, “Mian sahib had planned this private visit for a while but we (party leadership) had asked him to postpone it because of the evolving political situation here at home. Now he felt that he could afford to take out a few hours for this visit,” adding, “Please do not read anything into a simple private family visit”. When asked about the need to keep the visit a secret, Senator Rashid shrugged off the assertion by saying, “It was a private visit, that’s why”.
It may be recalled that in the past however, every time Mr. Sharif went on a ‘private’ visit either to the UK or the UAE, maximum media coverage was always ensured by his political aides and respectable sized reception parties were assembled at the destination airports. Why this past tradition was suddenly abandoned and a blanket of secrecy thrown over the visit, only time will tell.