Fresh graft case against Sharif
Pakistan’s anti-corruption body has slapped a fresh corruption case on deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, compounding the legal woes of the embattled Opposition leader who has frequently attacked the powerful military as well as the government.
Sharif, the 70-year-old chief of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) who was ousted from power in 2017 by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, is currently in London for medical treatment.
The National Accountability Bureau also approved cases against Sharif’s ex-personal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad, former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal, former foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and former Intelligence Bureau chief Aftab Sultan, Dawn newspaper reported.
On Thursday, a total of 11 cases were approved at NAB’s Executive Board Meeting (EBM) presided over by its chairman, retired Justice Javed Iqbal. According to the NAB, a fresh case was approved against Sharif along with Chaudhry, Sultan and Fawad for “illegally” purchasing 73 high-security vehicles for the security of foreign dignitaries.
They are accused of favouritism and illegal use of vehicles, causing a loss of over Rs 1,952 million to the national exchequer. The EBM also approved a case against Ahsan Iqbal and Mohammad Ahmed, contractor/owner of private firm Ahmed and Sons, for increasing the scope of the Sports City project in Narowal from Rs 30 million to Rs 3 billion by “abusing the authority”.
They are accused of illegally providing the funds of the federal government to provincial government projects after the 18th Amendment by using personal influence, which inflicted huge losses on the national exchequer. The case against Iqbal was approved two days after he had said in a private TV talk show that the NAB had been investigating the Narowal Sports City case against him for the last two-and-a-half years but did not file a reference.
Sharif is already facing several cases of corruption and misuse of authority which he has declared as a result of political vendetta by the current government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The approval of fresh cases followed a recent speech by Imran that the Opposition would see a “different Imran Khan”.