News Analysis |
Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s woes continued to deepen on Friday, as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved to put his name along with the four other family members on the Exit Control List (ECL). The other family members of the house of Nawaz who may face the travel ban include his sons Hussain and Hassan, daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt. Mohammad Safdar.
NAB has continued its offensive against the struggling Sharif family and its close aides. On Thursday, after the issuance of the non-bailable warrants of the ex-Finance Minister (FM) Ishaq Dar, NAB had recommended placing the name of the FM on the ECL. This decision was taken by the NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, who penned a letter to the interior ministry for restricting Dar’s foreign travels.
It may have promoted NAB chairman, Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal, to proceed in this regard and write to the interior ministry to put a ban on Sharif’s travels abroad.
The day before, NAB had declared that it was opening the Rs. 1.2 billion Hudaibya Paper Mills case in which Mr. Dar is one of the main accused.
Earlier, the Judgment in the Panama case had led to NAB filing three references against the former PM, per incurium, for being repugnant to Article 4,9,10-A, 13 and 25 of the Constitution. On the direction of the Apex Court, Nawaz appeared in the accountability court on a few occasions, and eventfully was indicted in absentia, on 19th and 20th October, in all three references – London flats, Flagship Investment Ltd and Azizia Steel Mills.
Despite making pleas and appeals in the apex court on clubbing the three references into one, Nawaz failed to convince the judge, and his appeals got rejected. The Supreme Court had purposely directed NAB to file three references against Nawaz and his children. Since, the crimes had taken place in three different countries- KSA, UAE, and the UK and the nature of crimes, time periods, and the people involved in the process varied, multiple references were filed against the alleged culprits.
The political analysts have stated that it was NAB Lahore that requested the headquarters in Islamabad to put the names of the family members on the ECL.
Other than Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar, other people accused were Hassan and Hussein who failed to appear in any of the court hearings and were declared absconders. Contrary to NAB’s legal stance, both the brothers told the media in England that Pakistani Laws are not applicable to them as they were British.
The political analysts have stated that it was NAB Lahore that requested the headquarters in Islamabad to put the names of the family members on the ECL. It may have promoted NAB chairman, Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal, to proceed in this regard and write to the interior ministry to put a ban on Sharif’s travels abroad.
Political and legal analysts believe that after putting Hassan and Husain on the ECL, NAB will seek the cancellation of their passports. It seems that the legal war between the ousted PM’s legal representatives and NAB’s prosecutor is entering an interesting phase.
It will be intriguing to see the next steps of NAB’s chairman in the wake of continuous political pressure and damaging statements from the allegedly corrupt political leaders against NAB’s war against the eradication of corruption in Pakistan.