Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons have been given 30 days to appear before the Islamabad Accountability Court in the Panama Papers case failing which they will be declared proclaimed offenders, the country’s anti-graft body said on Thursday. The process of issuing red warrants for Hassan and Hussain, who are in the UK along with their ailing mother Kulsoom, will begin after the completion of one month if they did not appear before the accountability court in three corruption and money laundering cases, according to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The court is trying Hussain and Hassan along with their father Nawaz Sharif, sister Maryam and brother-in-law captain (retired) Muhammad Safdar in corruption cases filed against them by the NAB on the Supreme Court’s instruction in the Panama Papers case. They have been given a 30-day deadline (till November 10) to appear before the court and the copies of the notice have been pasted at the Model Town and Jati Umra Raiwind residences of the Sharif family, it said.
Sharif’s sons will be declared proclaimed offenders and their properties attached if they failed to meet the deadline, the NAB said.
On the other hand, Hussain and Hassan have decided not to join the proceedings of the corruption cases against them. The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has said that Hassan and Hussain have chosen to invoke their British citizenship in order to skip the court proceedings in Pakistan. “They are foreign citizens and Pakistani laws do not apply to them, therefore they are unlikely to join the court proceedings here,” says PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid.
Sharif’s sons had been doing business abroad for over two decades, their financial matters were open for scrutiny in Britain and Saudi Arabia, he said, adding that Sharif, Maryam and Safdar will continue to attend court proceedings. On October 9, the Accountability Court in Islamabad ordered the NAB to initiate the process of declaring the former premier’s sons proclaimed offenders as they have consistently skipped the court’s proceedings in three graft cases pertaining to their Park Lane flats and the establishment of offshore companies.
Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law will be indicted tomorrow in the three corruption and money laundering cases. Sharif had to step down as prime minister and president of the PML-N party after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.