Lahore (HRNW): National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s Lahore chapter dispatched a letter to its headquarters in Islamabad requesting the anti-graft body chairman to initiate process to place the Sharif family members on the Exit Control List (ECL), Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar may face travel restrictions after approval of NAB chairman for placing their name on the ECL. Earlier, an accountability court declared Hassan and Hussain Nawaz as ‘proclaimed offender’ after the deadline to turn up before the court in three graft references lapsed.
Three references – Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and Flagship Investment Ltd – have been filed against the scions of Sharif family by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance of the Supreme Court’s landmark July 28 verdict in Panama Papers case. In a related development earlier this week, NAB requested the interior ministry to put Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s name on the ECL after issuance of his non-bailable arrest warrants. Embattled Dar, like ex-PM Sharif’s sons, has been skipping the court proceedings in a reference against him for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.
A senior official told on condition of anonymity that NAB Lahore had written to its headquarters requesting that Hussain and Hassan’s names be placed on the ECL. The NAB spokesman in Islamabad confirmed the other three names — Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Capt Safdar — that had been recommended by NAB Lahore to be placed on ECL. The headquarters would ask the interior ministry to proceed further. Earlier, Hassan Nawaz in apparent self-defence adopted a stance over the court’s ruling that he was a foreign national and NAB orders did not apply on him.
“I and my [elder] brother are foreign national, how can NAB laws could be applied on us. NAB cannot make someone a proclaimed offender, its like catching a black cat in the dark,” he told journalists in London. He had also claimed of not receiving summons from the anti-graft watchdog at his London residence. Similar sentiments were also echoed by the former premier’s daughter, stating that her brothers were foreign nationals and Pakistani laws could not be implemented on them. On the flip side, many PML-N leaders have been making hue and cry about NAB’s actions, viewing it as political victimisation against former PM Sharif and his family members.