LAHORE: An accountability court in Lahore on Tuesday (April 28) sent Jang Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mir Shakilur Rahman to jail on two-week judicial remand in a 34-year-old case pertaining to alleged illegal acquiring of property. Now, he will be produced before the court on May 12.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had produced MSR before the court after the expiry of his physical remand on 28th April. In the last hearing on April 18, the court had extended Mir’s physical remand by 10 days, directing the agency to present him again on April 28.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London for treatment after having been granted bail on medical grounds in October last year, is also nominated in the said case. NAB had announced last week that it will approach the accountability court to declare Sharif a proclaimed offender after he failed to appear despite being issued summons twice.
The anti-graft agency had arrested Mir on Mar 12 in a case which dates back to 1986 and involves the transfer of 54-canal land which, according to the anti-graft body, was illegally leased to Mir by then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif “in violation of the relevant laws and rules”.
However, Mir has maintained that the property in question was bought from a private party “34 years ago and all evidence of this was given to NAB”. Subsequently, on Mar 13, an accountability court remanded Mir into the bureau’s custody for 12 days. The remand duration has been extended multiple times since.
According to ANI and other media sources, the
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of Pakistan has issued an arrest warrant
against embattled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a 34-year-old property
exchange case and the next step of anti-graft body is to move court to declare
him a proclaimed offender.
Officials said that the anti-corruption body will approach an accountability court to declare Sharif a proclaimed offender for not joining investigations after he was summoned time and again to record his statement in the case of Jang Group’s Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakilur Rehman, informed officials told Dawn on Monday.
Sharif illegally leased the land to Jang Group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman in 1986, when the three-time premier was the chief minister of Punjab province. Rehman is in NAB custody on physical remand till April 28 and the Lahore High Court has dismissed two petitions against his arrest. The journalist community, media unions, and civil society groups have launched country-wide protests against the unjust arrest of Rehman that has especially happened during to the holy month of Ramzan.
On March 27, the NAB sent a questionnaire to Sharif and had summoned him to the bureau office on March 31 to record his statement. Again on March 15, NAB’s Lahore office summoned Sharif to appear before the bureau on March 20, but no response came from him, Dawn reported.
Earlier, in a notice to Sharif, NAB said: “The competent authority has taken the cognizance of offences allegedly committed by you and others under the provisions of NAO, 1999.
“The inquiry against Mir Shakilur Rehman, Ex-CM, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Officers/Officials of LDA and others has revealed that you as Chief Minster Punjab and Chairman LDA prima facie misused your authority and rendered undue benefit to co-accused Mir Shakilur Rehman by approving exemption of 54x plots measuring one kanal each in a single block (compact form) situated at canal bank H- Block of M.A. Jauhar Town, Lahore, vide summary dated 11.07.1986.
“In view, thereof, you are hereby called upon to appear before a combined investigation team (CIT), IW-II, at NAB complex, Thokar Niaz Beg, Lahore, on 31st March, 2020, at 11am to record your statement in response to questions asked vide questionnaire attached herewith,” it added.
NAB arrested Rehman on March 12 in a 34-year-old case related to 54-kanal land he had allegedly acquired “illegally” during the tenure of the then tenure of Sharif as chief minister of Punjab.
In the case, Rehman stated that the property in question had been bought from a private party and all evidence of this had been provided to NAB, including the legal requirements fulfilled like duty and taxes. No wrong had been committed in this regard, he said.