Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif interacts with the media in central London on November 1, 2017. A Pakistani court on October 26, 2017, issued arrest warrants for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif in two cases of corruption spiralling from the Panama Papers leak, his lawyers said. / AFP PHOTO

ISLAMABAD: The National Account­ability Bureau has decided to conduct a fresh investigation against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and display his arrest warrant at his residence in London in a separate Toshakhana reference.

The decision to initiate the fresh investigation against Nawaz Sharif was taken by the anti-graft watchdog in its Executive Board Meeting (EBM) on Tuesday. It was presided over by NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal.

An official press release issued by NAB said: “The EBM okayed conducting investigations against former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and others.”

According to NAB, “Nawaz Sharif misused local government funds for construction of road to his house in Raiwind.”

Arrest warrant for ex-PM to be displayed at his London residence in Toshakhana reference

On the other hand, NAB decided to dispose of a case against Shahbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and brother of Nawaz Sharif, and launch a fresh inquiry against him.

When contacted by Dawn, NAB said that Shahbaz Sharif being the Punjab chief minister had misused his authority on the construction of a dual-carriage way leading to a private university the vice chancellor of which was Sartaj Aziz.

“The EBM approved closing investigations against Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, former Punjab Chief Minister; Javed Mehmood, former secretary to the CM Punjab; Ahmed Khan Cheema, former director general of the Lahore Development Authority; and others due to absence of proof,” said the press release.

Toshakhana reference

After displaying the notice of arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif at his Jati Umrah residence near Lahore, the bureau decided to display the same at his residence in London.

In this connection, NAB contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has directed the Pakistani High Commission in the United Kingdom to display the notice.

A notice of the accountability court (Islamabad) was displayed at Jati Umra and Model Town residences of Nawaz Sharif on Monday, directing him to appear before it on Aug 17 in the Toshakhana reference.

According to the notice, “Nawaz Sharif committed offence of punishable under Sect­ion 9, read with Section 10 of the National Acco­untability Ordinance 1999, and it has been returned to a warrant of arrest thereupon issued that the said accused cannot be found and whereas it has been shown to my satisfaction that the said accused has absco­nded. Proclamation under section 87 CrPC is hereby made that the said accused Nawaz Sharif is required to appear before this court to answer the said reference on Aug 17.”

The accountability court of Islamabad had last month issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif in the reference. Mr Sharif, PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani are accused of receiving luxury vehicles and gifts from Toshakhana.

The NAB meeting authorised filing corruption reference against Arshad Waheed, chief executive officer of M/s ERPL, and others for alleged abuse of authority.

The EBM authorised conducting inquiries against Shahbaz Sharif, former senator Sartaj Aziz, former DIG Traffic Police Punjab Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan and oth­ers; Mehr Hamid Rashid, member Pun­jab Assembly; Mehr Abdur Rauf, owners/developers and others of Heaven Villas Faisalabad; Attiqur Rehman, Sheikh Ejaz Ahmed, former MPA, and others, and defaulting PhD scholars of Punjab University. It also authorised inquiries against Shahbaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz, Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan and others.