Pakistan's anti-graft body summons Sharif, sons

In what could set the tone for investigation into serious allegations against the Sharif family, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif and both his sons in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case on Friday (tomorrow).

To a question about references against former Nawaz Sharif, Zardari said he could comment on them after consulting his lawyers.

They said the anti-graft body is likely to accept this request as it had accepted such requests in the past from former premiers Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as well as other political leaders.

The top brass of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N is in Lahore deliberating on the person to be named as chief of the party and the summons by NAB will add yet another urgent topic to its list of concerns, the Dawn reported.

The four probe teams each comprise three officers - an investigation officer, a case officer, and a director.

It is pertinent to note here that the Panamagate JIT formed on the orders of Supreme Court, in its final report, had said that Hussain Nawaz failed to produce any evidence or means establishing his personal capacity of meeting SAR 90.4 million equity requirements as his share in the sale proceeds of Al Azizia Steel Company fell well short of this requirement.

Also, they said, Hussain and Hassan were out of the country and they could not have appeared even if they had been sent any notice.

The NAB confirmed that Sharif and his sons have been directed to appear before NAB's Lahore office on August 18.

"Despite repeated requests, respondent No. 7 (Hussain Nawaz) didn't produce the relevant corporate record so it is not possible to ascertain the legal status of HME whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership or a company limited by shares", stated the JIT report. The companies are Flagship Investments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE (Dubai).

PM's cousin Tariq Shafi and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar are among the people summoned by the NAB. According to NAB sources, the bureau would take up this case on Aug 23.

Moreover, the NAB has received certified copies of classified Volume X of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report regarding Panama Papers case from the Supreme Court.

Vanessa Coleman