ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to seize the property owned by former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf after he failed to appear before the anti-corruption watchdog over allegations of Rs1,000 billion corruption and owning assets beyond means.
Sources said that the Rawalpindi NAB has written two separate letters to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and chief commissioner, Islamabad, for the seizure of five luxury properties held by the accused in various areas of Islamabad.
NAB had summoned Musharraf, his wife and son last week in connection with corruption probe, but none of them appeared before the investigating officer, prompting NAB to issue another summon. The letter written to the DHA mentioned four properties in Islamabad, including Plot No F-1/GT Road Central Blvd, DHA Phase-II; Plot D 42/1, DHA Phase-II extension; Plot K 24/3, DHA Phase-II extension and Plot F20/2 DHA Phase-II extension.
Another letter was written by the NAB investigating officer to the chief commissioner, Islamabad, to freeze the Farm House of Musharraf measuring five acres in P&V Scheme, Park Road, Chak Shahzad, Islamabad.
“NAB is conducting subject inquiry; in this regard, it is intimated that accused Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf and others (Ms Sehba Musharraf, Bilal Musharraf and Ms Ayla Musharraf) are holding the following properties,” says the letter listing the above mentioned properties.
The letter quotes Section 23 of the NAB Ordinance, 1999, which states : “Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force after the NAB chairman has initiated an inquiry or investigation into [any offence] under this ordinance, alleged to have been committed by an accused person or his any relative or associate of [accused] person or any other person on his behalf, shall not transfer by any means, whatsoever, [or] create a charge on any property owned by him or in his possession, while the inquiry, investigation or proceedings are pending before NAB or the court and any transfer of any right, title or interest or creation of a charge on such property shall be void.”
The same Section states that any person who transfers or creates a charge on property in contravention of subsection (a) shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term in jail, which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine not exceeding the value of the property involved.
Last month, Musharraf refused to come back to Pakistan despite assurance by the Supreme Court that he will not be arrested upon return. NAB is probing allegations of corruption against Musharraf on a complaint of a retired army officer Colonel Inamur Rahim, Advocate, who has submitted detailed evidence against the former dictator.
Col Rahim alleged that Musharraf misused his authority and illegally allotted multiple expensive plots to himself and his favourite officers worth about Rs1,000 billion. The evidence submitted by the applicant includes a list of 10 prime properties worth billions of rupees which Musharraf held in his name and in the names of his family members.