ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has formally initiated an inquiry against the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leadership in a money laundering case. It has been alleged that over $32 million had been laundered.
The decision to initiate the inquiry against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif came after President Asif Ali Zardari gave the green signal.
“The president directed NAB Chairman to make sure that there should be no political victimisation in the case,” Bureau spokesperson Zafar Iqbal Khan said on Thursday in his media briefing.
Responding to another question that Chairman NAB was not taking action against Sharif brothers because of directions given by the President, the spokesperson clarified that “Chairman NAB was misquoted, he (Fasih) never stated anything like that.”
Interior Minister Rehman Malik had claimed on April 28 that he had documentary evidence of corruption against the PML-N leadership and would refer them to NAB.
The federal government is the complainant in this reference, which also includes cases related to defaulting on loans worth Rs4.9 billion taken from nine different banks in the early 90s.
When the spokesperson was asked if Malik is the complainant, he said, “I can only tell you that a formal inquiry has been initiated.”
Malik had earlier claimed that he had evidence against the PML-N leaders siphoning off public funds worth $32 million.
The interior minister had said that he had collected the evidence in his personal capacity after he was asked by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto to investigate the Hudabiya Paper Mills case, the Mehran Bank scandal and various other cases related to money laundering.
PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan had rejected the allegations leveled by Malik, terming them ‘a pack of lies.’
Express News had earlier reported that Rehman Malik had filed the reference.
Correction: An earlier version of this story carried an incorrect quote attributed to NAB spokesperson, wherein the President ordered an inquiry into money laundering by the Sharif brothers.