ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday announced to reinvestigate Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for alleged corruption in Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference in compliance with the top court’s orders.
In a statement, the anti-corruption watchdog said it would relaunch an investigation against Dar as an accused, terminating his earlier position of approver in the case.
Dar was nominated as an accused in the initial Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference but later he became an approver. However, the finance minister has been indicted once again after reopening of the case, the anti-graft body said in the statement.
The case was quashed by Lahore High Court (LHC) and NAB did not appeal the Supreme Court over the LHC judgment.
However, the Supreme Court called upon NAB authorities to reopen the case during Panama Papers’ case proceedings after six-members Joint Investigation Team (JIT) surfaced new evidences of corruption against Sharif family members.
Subsequently, the NAB filed a Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal (CPLA) in the Supreme Court on Sept 15 for reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.
Earlier, the JIT had strongly recommended reopening of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, observing that substantial evidence had strengthened the FIA and the NAB probes and established link between the investigations of the two departments.
It merits mentioning here that Ishaq Dar had became an approver in the case and made a revelation of his involvement in money laundering before the magistrate on April 25, 2000 in Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference.
The Musharaf government had launched an investigation against PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif back in 2000 for their alleged involvement in money-laundering. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is a close aide and relative of the Sharifs, had given a confessional statement before a magistrate, alleging that Sharif brothers used the Hudaibiya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.
Dar later retracted his statement and claimed the statement was gleaned under duress.