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NAB bars Sharifs from selling property, posts notice on Lahore residence

NAB bars Sharifs from selling property, posts notice on Lahore residence

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday posted its notice on the main gate of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Jati Umra residence, according to sources.

According to the notice, Nawaz cannot sell his residence to anyone. Copies of the notice have also been sent to the heads of the Lahore Development Authority, Punjab Excise Department, Defence Housing Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Lahore Deputy Commissioner.

The copies have been also sent to all the banks of the country.

The notice has been issued in connection with the Avenfield properties of the Sharif family in London, over which a reference has been filed against them in the Islamabad Accountability Court.

Meanwhile, NAB Lahore has also sent notice to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at his Islamabad and Lahore residence on Thursday night. According to the notice, Dar cannot sell his movable, immovable properties.

Dar is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.

The violation of NAB’s order would result in punishment according to the NAB law’s section 23-A.

The Sharif family and Dar are presently in London where Nawaz’s wife, Kulsoom, is undergoing treatment for lymphoma.

The family failed to appear in the Islamabad Accountability Court on September 19 with regards to three references filed against them by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s Panama case judgment of July 28. The next hearing of the case is on September 26.

On the other hand, NAB former deputy prosecutor general Raja Amir Abbas said the letters written in this regard are useless as neither the Sharif family wants to sell its assets and none is interested in buying it.

“They will only be affected if NAB writes to all the foreign countries under NAB ordinance’s section 21 and freeze their foreign assets, mortgages and bank accounts,” said Abbas.

When asked if foreign banks and authorities will be bound to act upon NAB’s request, he maintained that those countries who have treaties with Pakistan to the effect will freeze the assets while other countries will do so to curb money laundering.

“For example, we do not have an extradition treaty with United Kingdom but we can write to the country’s secretary home who will forward it to the relevant court,” added Abbas.

Raja Abbas clarified that the current action is only a formality as section 23 of the NAB suggest that a suspect under investigation cannot transfer by any means whatsoever, any property owned by him or in his possession, while the inquiry, investigation or proceedings are pending before the authority.

He also revealed that NAB can itself issue arrest warrants for the accused but the authority requested the court for the purpose (in Ishaq Dar’s case).