LAHORE: After ignoring its summonses twice, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif finally appeared before a combined investigations team (CIT) of the country’s top graft buster – the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) – to answer its queries in an “assets beyond means” case.
NAB team on Monday interrogated Shehbaz at its Lahore Office for over two hours and quizzed him with regard to his bank accounts, foreign transactions, properties allegedly owned by him and his family members and gifts given or received by him etc.
According to sources, the PML-N president could not satisfy the interrogators who later summoned him again on June 2.
NAB first summoned Shehbaz on April 17 and then on April 22 but Shehbaz – who returned to Pakistan on March 22 after over four-month stay in London – did not show up on both the occasions.
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On April 17, Shehbaz was supposed to submit his bank details from 2005 to 2007. However, the opposition leader instead sent a written reply to the CIT chief, requesting him to defer the probe till end of the coronavirus lockdown in view of his written reply and the advice of his physicians.
He had said his doctors have advised him to take precautionary measures in view of the pandemic and to limit his interactions with people to avoid contact with the contagious disease.
“I am 69-year-old and have been a patient of cancer,” he had said, adding that due to the lockdown it was also not possible for him to access all the data, record and staff.
Shehbaz contended that he had always replied to all NAB notices; appeared before the investigators whenever summoned and offered full cooperation. He said he had already answered all questions about his assets when he was first arrested by NAB in connection with a housing scheme case.
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“It is regrettable that NAB has always declared replies to its notices as unsatisfactory. All my assets are on record and I have been declaring my assets before relevant officials,” he had added.
NAB had, however, summoned him again, while promising that it would adopt all preventive measures like use of mask, social distancing and use of sensitizers. It has asked Shehbaz to cooperate.
Earlier, NAB complained that Shehbaz had not been cooperating. The graft buster said ahead of his April 17 appearance, it had sent him a questionnaire as it wanted detailed and comprehensive answers in order to conclude the probe which is in its final phase.
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On March 27, NAB sent a call up notice to Shehbaz. The notice had a list of at least 12 questions. It asked him to provide documents and details about disproportionate growth in assets of his family during the last two decades, gifts given to the family members, foreign accounts and monetary transactions etc.