LAHORE: A team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is likely to leave for London in a couple of days to collect evidence there of properties belonging to the Sharif family.
Official sources told Dawn that the bureau was sending its team in pursuance of the letters it had written to the UK authorities in connection with the mutual legal agreement.
“Since NAB has not yet received a reply from the UK authorities, it has decided to pursue the matter in person,” a source said, adding that the team would make sure its return before Oct 13 to submit a report to the accountability court in Islamabad in connection with the indictment of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and sons Hassan and Hussain.
The ‘Volume-10’ of the Joint Investigation Team report is said to have dealt with the mutual legal business agreements between the Sharif family and different foreign governments.
Meanwhile, NAB has initiated the process of obtaining red warrants for Hassan and Hussain from Interpol. “After receiving the court’s order declaring Hassan and Hussain proclaimed offenders, NAB is writing to the interior ministry to take up the matter with the Interpol for issuance of their red warrants,” the source said.
But there is a big question whether the interior ministry under Ahsan Iqbal, a close aide to Mr Sharif, will put the process on a fast track on the court’s order or opt for delaying tactics. “Since the Supreme Court is directly monitoring the case, the interior minister will have no choice but to promptly proceed against the sons of his party chief,” a NAB official said.
NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Chaudhry Khaliquz Zaman told Dawn that since Mr Sharif’s sons had been declared proclaimed offenders, their properties in Pakistan would be attached. He said that once the red warrants for Hassan and Hussain were issued, NAB would take up the matter with the UK authorities for their extradition.
At present there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and Britain.
“Having no extradition treaty between the two countries will help Hassan and Hussain escape arrest there and accountability here. NAB will have one option once their red warrants are issued, but to file an extradition petition in a London’s court,” Mr Zaman said.
On Monday, the accountability court declared Hassan and Hussain proclaimed offenders for repeatedly failing to appear before it. It also issued perpetual warrants for them and separated their trial from Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar.