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NAB reference against Shehbaz Sharif ‘ready’: Shahzad Akbar

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Saturday said a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference was ready to be filed against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

“Those who are working hand in glove with Sharif in corruption stand exposed […] Eid is near and the reference against Sharif is ready,” he said while addressing a press conference alongside Information Minister Shibli Faraz.

Akbar claimed that there is a trail of the “kickbacks and commission received by the PML-N leader”, adding that Sharif will have to respond to the corruption charges. He demanded a trial of the former Punjab chief minister on a day-to-day basis.

Akbar claimed that Hamza Shabaz used to submit “cheques without mentioning names on them”.

A NAB reference is ready and Sharif will have to answer all these questions, Akbar said.

“According to EOBI data, Masroor Anwar is an employee of the Sharif group who submitted a cheque worth Rs900 million,” Akbar said, adding: “Anwar is in custody and he has given his statement.”

Taking over the press conference, the information minister said the government was taking important steps to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

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“The prime minister’s strategy has been clear from the first day,” Faraz said.

“As soon as the pandemic hit the country, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) and National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) were established to deal with it. People from all four provinces were made a part of the NCOC since PM Imran wanted to take everyone’s input,” he said.

He added that the country was facing several challenges and the government was working according to a roadmap to deal with the pandemic.

“PM announced $8 billion relief package for the masses and allocated Rs480 billion for the economy. Rs570 billion was kept to provide relief to the people and through the Ehsaas Programme Rs104 billion was distributed to 85,000 families,” Faraz added.

Stressing upon the need for unity to tackle the challenge, the information minister said he regretted that the opposition parties did not give any positive suggestions in the National Assembly session for the fight against the pandemic.

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“What we saw was that Shehbaz Sharif was absent[from the session], and that their speeches were the same as pressers,” Faraz said, adding: “Shehbaz not attending the session, is proof that the elite believe they don’t have to come in and attend the session. Lives of the other lawmakers are not important.”

‘Shahbaz Sharif’s cheques are proofs of his corruption’

Akbar, earlier on Wednesday, had claimed that proof [against] Sharif were his cheques. He said that Sharif established dozens of companies in the names of his employees for transactions of billions.

During a news conference, he dared Sharif to sue him in London, if what he was claiming was wrong and said that they had done investigations and had in possession related undeniable documentary evidence, The News reported

He explained that black money was transferred through hundi and hawala and was whitened by bringing it back through TTs. He said that the companies were established after 2007 and a phenomenal increase in their (Shahbaz family) assets was witnessed during the last ten years.

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Akbar said that the salaries of the employees on whose names these companies were established ranged between Rs18,000 and Rs70,000 and they served in Sharif Feed Mill and Ramazan Sugar Mills. 

Chiniot Power and Model Town residents of katchi abadis were also involved in the process, he claimed. He also mentioned names of Manzoor paparwala, Mehboob Ali and newspaper vendor Rameez Shahid, whose names were used for the shady activities.

“In the benami accounts of these persons, Rs17.40 billion were transferred while interestingly, these employees are registered in EOBI. In the account of one employee, Rs450 million were transferred,” he said.

He noted that all the evidence was in NAB’s possession and it should file a case, as the case is ready. He added if he was making a wrong statement, he was ready to face a case from Sharif in London.

The special assistant contended that it would be impossible for the PML-N leader to come out clean in these matters.

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