The Lahore High Court has granted bail to PML-N leader Khawaja Asif in a case against him filed by the National Accountability Bureau which accuses him of money laundering and owning assets beyond known sources of income.
An LHC bench comprising Justice Alia Neelam and Justice Shahbaz Rizvi delivered the verdict on Wednesday.
Asif was arrested on December 29, 2020. He filed a bail application on March 27, 2021.
The arguments on Asif’s bail application were completed in three days.
Asif, in his bail plea, stated that he was arrested by NAB on December 29 in a case alleging he owns assets beyond known sources of income and has engaged in money laundering.
He told the court that he has already submitted details sought by NAB and claimed that the anti-corruption watchdog has not shared any of the records turned in by him.
“The accountability court judge also observed that NAB has all relevant records,” Asif had said.
He had said that the Federal Board of Revenue and Election Commission of Pakistan also have records of the assets owned by him.
On December 29, NAB arrested the PML-N parliamentary leader in the National Assembly for allegedly owning assets beyond known sources of income.
He was arrested after coming out of the residence of PML-N General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal where he attended a consultative meeting to decide whether or not the PML-N should contest the Senate election.
NAB unearthed 48 undeclared (benami) bank accounts
In an important development, the NAB unearthed 48 undeclared (benami) bank accounts of PML-N leader Khawaja Asif, claimed media reports.
The NAB Lahore in a report said that 48 bank accounts were opened in the name of PML-N leader Khawaja Asif, his family and ostensible owners (benamidars).
According to NAB sources, Rs220 million were transferred to the bank accounts of Khawaja Asif, his family, and ostensible owners (benamidars).
Khawaja Asif, his wife and son are possessing assets worth over Rs810 million.
Judge Jawadul Hassan heard the assets beyond income case against the PML-N lawmaker where the prosecution sought physical remand of the accused.
In a press statement issued after his arrest, NAB Lahore said that the investigation against Asif was being conducted under Section 5 of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.
عدلیہ قومی ڈائیلاگ کروائے۔۔۔ ن لیگ کے پارلیمانی راہ نما خواجہ آصف نے تجویز دے دی۔۔
فریقین کو ایک ایسی چھت ڈھونڈ لینی چاہیے جہاں سب بیٹھ کر بات چیت کر سکیں۔۔ عدلیہ اگر آگے آئے تو نیشنل ڈائیلاگ شروع ہو سکتا ہے۔#FaislaAapKa Aaj News@KhawajaMAsif pic.twitter.com/gYv1txzckL
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) November 18, 2020
Khawaja Asif is known for his close ties with the establishment. There have been media reports suggesting a possible political engineering in Sialkot where Khawaja Asif won the elections. Recently, in a meeting with Opposition leaders, the COAS reportedly pointed out that Khawaja Asif made him call on the eve of elections. “Didn’t you make me calls and sought my help?” COAS reportedly asked Asif.