Judicial remand of MSR extended till Sept 3, arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif reissued

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LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday again issued bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a reference pertaining to a 34-year-old land allotment transaction also involving Jang group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman.

Earlier, a police report filed with the court said the summons could not be served at the Model Town residence of Mr Sharif due to his unavailability.

Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman

Presiding Judge Asad Ali asked a police official if the former premier had only one residence in Lahore.

The official said there was another residence (of Mr Sharif in the city) in Jati Umra, but the summons were not sent to that address.

The judge issued fresh bailable arrest warrants of Mr Sharif and ordered the police to ensure service of the summons at all known addresses of the suspect. The judge also extended judicial remand of Mir Shakilur Rehman till next date of hearing on Sept 3. Mr Rehman was not produced before the court by the Kot Lakhpat jail authorities due to Covid-19 pandemic standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Nawaz Sharif

The NAB in its reference alleged that Rehman illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots, each measuring one kanal, situated in Block-H, Johar Town.

It alleged that the land was allotted in connivance with then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif against the exemption policy and the laws for monetary gains. It said the suspects caused a loss of Rs143.53 million to the national exchequer through allotment of the land in violation of exemption policy.

In this case, the NAB had arrested Mr Rehman, while Mr Sharif had been declared an absconder for his continuous non-appearance before the investigation team.

Mr Sharif is in London for his treatment following a permission given by courts. The other two suspects were not arrested by the NAB, but interrogated only.