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‘NAB’s asset freezing requests will not affect Sharif family’

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) letters requesting authorities to freeze Sharif family’s assets will not affect the family, a former NAB official told ARY News on Wednesday.

Speaking exclusively to ARY News, NAB’s former deputy prosecutor general Raja Amir Abbas said the letters written in this regard are masoomana (innocuous) as neither the Sharif family wants to sell its assets and none is interested in buying it.

“They will only be affected if NAB writes to all the foreign countries under NAB ordinance’s section 21 and freeze their foreign assets, mortgages and bank accounts,” said Abbas.

When asked if foreign banks and authorities will be bound to act upon NAB’s request, he maintained that those countries who have treaties with Pakistan to the effect will freeze the assets while other countries will do so to curb money laundering.

“For example, we do not have an extradition treaty with United Kingdom but we can write to the country’s secretary home who will forward it to the relevant court,” added Abbas.

Section 21 of the NAB ordinance

Raja Abbas clarified that the current action is only a formality as section 23 of the NAB suggest that a suspect under investigation cannot transfer by any means whatsoever, any property owned by him or in his possession, while the inquiry, investigation or proceedings are pending before the authority.

He also revealed that NAB can itself issue arrest warrants for the accused but the authority requested the court for the purpose (in Ishaq Dar’s case).

It is pertinent to note here that NAB had requested to freeze the assets of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Hassan Nawaz, his son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar and finance minister Ishaq Dar in letters written to authorities within the country.

NAB is pursuing references against the Sharif family and Ishaq Dar under the orders of the Supreme Court which disqualified Nawaz Sharif in a corruption probe earlier this year.

 

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