[The News International 26 November 2019] LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore, has issued orders to freeze industries owned by family members of Shahbaz Sharif in the assets beyond means case, The News has learnt.

According to documents available with The News, the industries including Chiniot Power Limited, Ramzan Energy Limited, Al-Arabia Sugar Mills, Crystal Plastics Private Limited, Sharif Dairy Farms Private Limited and Sharif Poultry Farms Private Limited were ordered to be frozen in separate orders issued by the NAB Lahore chief on Monday. The NAB Lahore DG, Shahzad Saleem, directed the authorities concerned, including the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), to implement the orders with immediate effect.

Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz and Nusrat Shahbaz will not be able to receive any benefit from the aforementioned industries following the anti-graft body’s move. Members of the Sharif family and their financial advisers were given copies of the directives.

In separate letters written to various departments including Excise and Taxation, Revenue and District Governments, the anti-graft watchdog banned sale, purchase and transfer of all properties belonging to the former Punjab chief minister and his family members including Tehmina Durrani.

In Chiniot Power Limited, an investigation against accused Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz and others for offence(s) of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9(a) punishable under Section 1 O of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 with Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 started. During investigations, it revealed that accused Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz and Nusrat Shahbaz have acquired shares and have beneficial interests in M/s Chiniot Power Ltd, having its registered office at 91-F, Model Town, Lahore, in their own names as well as in the names of their relatives/Benamidars/associates.

According to the letter, the investigation officer in Punjab had found that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the accused have committed the aforesaid offences. “I, therefore, order that the aforesaid shares of the accused and any financial benefits or any other interest arising out o the above-mentioned shares; and any other financial benefit, right, title of aforesaid persons and their associates/Benamidars in the aforesaid company be frozen U/S 12 of NAO 1999 to prohibit the delivery of any benefit to the accused and their relatives/Benamidars/associates.”

In Sharif Poultry Farms Private Limited, an investigation against accused Shahbaz Sharif, Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz and others for offence(s) of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under Section 9(a) punishable under Section 1 O of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 with Section 3 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 started. During the investigation, it revealed that Shahbaz, Hamza, Suleman and Nusrat have acquired shares and have beneficial interests in M/s Sharif Dairy Farm Power Ltd, having its registered office at 55-K, Model Town, Lahore, in their own names as well as in the names of their relatives/Benamidars/associates.

According to the letter, the investigation officer in Punjab has found that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused have committed the aforesaid offences. It was, therefore, ordered that the aforesaid shares of accused persons and any financial benefits or any other interest arising out o the above-mentioned shares; and any other financial benefit, right, title of aforesaid persons and their associates/Benamidars in the aforesaid company be frozen U/S 12 of the NAO 1999 to, amongst others, prohibit the delivery of any benefit to the accused and their relatives/Benamidars/associates arising out of the aforesaid company. Such investigations were also held in Ramzan Energy Ltd, M/S Al-Arabia Sugar Mills Ltd and M/S Crystal Plastics (Pvt) Ltd.

Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has reacted to the NAB action, saying that such jabs at Shahbaz Sharif are the worst kind of a smear campaign. Shahbaz does not own any shares in any of these companies. Despite the worst political victimisation in the history of Pakistan by this imposed regime, they have been unable to indict Shahbaz in a single case of corruption.

She said the PML-N president was in judicial custody and NAB custody and after endless inquiries and exhaustive investigations, they could not find a dime of corruption. During his tenure, Shahbaz implemented projects worth billions of rupees. These included mega projects of energy, communication, health, education and public transport. The entire record is with Punjab and federal governments and yet not a single rupee corruption is established. These companies have been working since the 1980s. Shahbaz has neither been a director or shareholder in any of these businesses nor has he drawn any dividends from them. The NAB is not only launching a victimisation campaign based on lies but is also overstepping its jurisdiction.

She said this is the extreme level of political victimisation where private businesses are being subjected to the worst form of harassment. All this is just another episode of the maligning strategy by the failed incompetent regime.