Pakistan’s anti-graft body has given the nod for launching a corruption case against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Javed Iqbal yesterday approved registration of the corruption case during an executive board meeting. NAB officials said the case was related to alleged loss of over Rs 120 million to the national exchequer over the construction of a two-way road in 2000 from Raiwind to the Sharif family home in Jati Umra in the suburbs of Lahore. The Sharif brothers have so far not reacted to the new allegations of corruption. Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, son-in-law Muhammad Safdar, and sons Hassan and Hussain, are already facing three NAB cases filed in September on the basis of the Supreme Court’s decision of July 28 in the Panama Papers case that led to Sharif’s ouster as premier.
However, the new case also includes Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who has been tipped as a future prime minister if Nawaz’s PML-N party wins the election next year. Officials said the NAB in the same meeting also approved filing of six corruption references, complete four pending inquiries, and 11 investigations against different politicians and officers.
The meeting also decided to probe former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf who as minister for water and power from 2008-2011 caused a loss of Rs 113 billion to the national exchequer by delaying a key energy project. NAB will also launch investigations into alleged corruption by another former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani who was disqualified by the apex court in 2012 and replaced by Ashraf.