LAHORE: (FIA) revitalized probe against Shahbaz Sharif and his sons after seven months and directed him to appear before the agency on June 22 otherwise he would be arrested.
On November, 2020 the FIA booked Mr Sharif and his two sons Hamza and Salman on account of financial fraud, impersonation and forgery. While Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Sharif are present in Pakistan, Salman Shahbaz is absconding in London.
The PML-N said that the Prime Minister was driving the institutions for political victimization. The call-up notice to Shahbaz by the FIA Lahore stated that during his CM-ship his family owned businesses including Ramzan Sugar mills and Al-Arabia Sugar mills and others deposited Rs 25bn in bank accounts in the names of clerks and peons. It was also mentioned that a cheque of Rs5 million issued by Aurangzeb Butt in the name of Shahbaz Sharif was deposited into the account of RSML peon Gulzar A Khan (late).
The FIA also asked the former CM Punjab to present details of all international assets other than four apartments already declared to the FBR, sources claimed
The FIA added that money received from the accounts of low- wage employees was shifted through illegal channels like hundi/hawala networks outside the country which was later used by Sharif family. The FIA also asked Shahbaz to present details of all international assets other than the apartments already disclosed to the FBR.
Shahbaz Sharif was directed to attend the FIA proceedings along with the documentary evidence on June 22 at its office on Temple Road Lahore. It was also clearly mentioned in the call up notice that if he did not appear before the investigation team, it would be considered that he had nothing to say in his defense and hence legal actions might be taken against him including arrest. The FIA highlighted that Mr Shahbaz was given a chance to defend the charges against him in last December and January 2021 however he did not take things seriously.
If Shahbaz Sharif does not appear on June 22, legal actions may be taken against him including arrest, FIA call up notice stated
The FIA had also lodged cases against various other sugar mills including that of Jahangir Tareen and his son Ali Tareen, the owners of two media groups, the mills of Khusro Bakhtiar and his family members, and 40 price manipulators. However, last week the FIA did not step up for Mr Tareen and his son’s arrest due to lack of ‘Criminal evidence’ in the money-laundering and sugar scam cases.
It was claimed by the political opponents that Tareen group (around 30 lawmakers) had threatened the Prime Minister of not cooperating with the government in the federal and Punjab budgets in case Mr Tareen was not given relief and justice. The threat worked and Tareen was given clean chit by the FIA just ahead of the federal budget. PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb blamed the Prime Minister for using the state institutions for venting his frustration over his incompetent government’s failure to present a people-friendly budget which had been claiming of at every platform.
She claimed that it was none else than Imran Khan who approved the sugar export despite the opposition from the relevant authorities which gave birth to the shortage of commodity in the country. Ms Aurangzeb added that it was also Imran who allowed sugar import which led to corruption.