Saaf Pani, PPDC cases: Prime suspect ‘turns approver’ against Shahbaz’s son-in-law

LAHORE: As the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, has re-summoned PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif’s sons for Nov 9 in connection with investigation into his assets beyond his known sources of income, a prime suspect in two corruption cases has turned approver against his (Shahbaz’s) son-in-law.

On Friday last, both brothers Hamza and Salman did not appear before a combined investigation team. Hamza Shahbaz (opposition leader in Punjab Assembly) cited traffic blockade caused by protests in connection with acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case as main reason for not showing up and Salman was in London.

“The NAB has re-summoned both brothers for Nov 9 to seek details of their father’s and his family members’ properties,” a source told Dawnon Monday.

He said Mr Salman earlier had appeared before a combined investigation team of the bureau in this regard but he did not provide complete details of his father’s and other family members’ assets.

According to NAB: “During interrogation Shahbaz Sharif has stated that all of his matters relevant to assets, income and expenditures are being looked after by Salman. Therefore he should appear before a combined investigation team along with documents of all assets, properties including those sold out here or abroad, documents pertaining to sources of income, complete income tax returns and wealth tax returns, details of investments/shareholding in companies in and outside Pakistan.” Hamza has secured a pre-arrest interim bail till Nov 13.

On Oct 5, the bureau had arrested Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing project scam. The opposition leader in the National Assembly is remanded in NAB’s custody till Nov 7 on a physical remand.

Shahbaz’s son-in-law Ikram Naveed, former chief executive officer of the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC), has become ‘approver’ against Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Imran Ali Yousaf, who is hiding in London after being declared a proclaimed offender by the accountability court in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company (PSPC) and the PPDC cases.

“Ikram Naveed in his statement before NAB confessed to have paid over Rs130 million to Yousaf,” an official said, adding Naveed had caused a total loss of Rs490m to the national exchequer during his service. Naveed was allegedly appointed to the top position on Mr Yousaf’s recommendation (by former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif).

In 2016, the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had initiated action against Mr Naveed on charges of corruption but Mr Yousaf was ‘given a clean chit’. The former was accused of embezzling Rs450m. His property worth over Rs1bn was frozen.

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