News Analysis |
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has re-summoned the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on May 20 for allegedly misusing his authority for illegal construction of a road leading to his residence in Jati Umra, Raiwind.
Earlier, Nawaz was asked to appear before a combined investigation on April 21 but as Nawaz was in London to see his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, he could not appear before the team. NAB official told media that “Mr. Sharif has been re-summoned by the NAB for May 20 at Thokhar Niaz Baig (office) before a combined investigation team.”
In its earlier notice, the NAB said: “The investigation has revealed that you [Nawaz Sharif] being the then Prime Minister illegally convened a meeting on March 15, 1998 regarding construction of a road from Adda Plot to Sundar Mull by utilising funds of the Zila Council Lahore for your personal benefit.”
Nawaz has confidently rejected all corruption allegations against him, asserting such are tactics to sideline him. It will be interesting to note as to what comes out of these proceedings and how will it impact Nawaz’s political life?
Nawaz is accused of issuing “illegal direction” to the concerned authorities to enhance the width of the road from 20 to 24 feet for his “personal benefit”. “It has also been revealed that you exercised the authority which was not vested with you by passing illegal directions on the project funded by the Zila Council Lahore,” it reads.
Read more: NAB responds after government’s rebuttal
The notice further says: “Being the then Prime Minister you misused your authority by initiating the project for your personal benefit in connivance with your brother, Shahbaz Sharif who was the then the chief minister of Punjab. Because of your (Nawaz Sharif) illegal directions, the Zila Council Lahore had to drop various other projects of public welfare at the cost of the said project in connivance with Shahbaz Sharif.”
Illegal Road Construction: NAB Approves Reference again
On December 27, 2017 the NAB executive board approved the filing of a new reference against the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, said a statement released by the bureau.
The reference pertains to the alleged illegal construction of a two-way road from Raiwind to the Sharif family home in the year 2000. The construction of the road caused a loss of Rs125 million to the national exchequer. The decision was taken in a meeting of the accountability watchdog’s executive board meeting, chaired by NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.
NAB Lahore has re-summoned the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on May 20 for allegedly misusing his authority for illegal construction of a road leading to his residence in Jati Umra, Raiwind.
NAB’s Direction to the CM Punjab
NAB issued a notice to the CM Punjab to explain the details of the road constructed illegally for Nawaz’s personal benefits. It is, however, yet to be known if Shehbaz has submitted the report or not. NAB has already filed supplementary references pertaining to Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, the Sharifs’ London (Avenfield) properties, and over a dozen offshore companies, including Flagship Investment Ltd, against Nawaz and his family.
The NAB is seemingly working independently these days and is, therefore, tightening its hand on Nawaz and his aides for their alleged corruption and misuse of authority. Nawaz Sharif has been facing many corruption charges since his disqualification in the Panama Papers case last year. Nawaz has confidently rejected all corruption allegations against him, asserting such are tactics to sideline him. It will be interesting to note as to what comes out of these proceedings and how will it impact Nawaz’s political life?