Sharifs in the dock

ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau has informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif is a bank defaulter and has to pay around four billion rupees.
The development surfaced on Tuesday.
Reportedly, the NAB has informed the ECP that Shahbaz Sharif owes Rs 3.84 billion as loan outstanding against him in connection with Hudabia Paper Mills. Similarly, the Bureau has also informed the Commission that election contestants - Zafar Baig Betini, Mohammad Makhdoom Gilani and Sardar Abdur Rehman Khetran - are bank defaulters.
A NAB spokesman, when contacted, clarified that NAB had not objected to Sharif’s participation in general elections owing to the pending loan. “We are nobody to object. We only provided information that ECP sought from us,” he said.
Meanwhile in a statement issued on Thursday, spokesman of the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) said information given by NAB to ECP was misleading and based on mala fide intention. He warned NAB against indulging in politics saying the Bureau must not become a party.
The spokesman said NAB’s step was a pre-planned conspiracy. He said the PML-N will hold a press conference at 11:30 am at party’s central secretariat on Friday (today) and the media will be informed about the facts.
Monitoring Desk adds: A Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) member has filed an objection to the nomination papers of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif.
Nawaz Sharif had filed his nomination papers for NA-120.
In his objection, PPP member Sohail Malik said that Nawaz was a defaulter in the Asghar Khan case. Malik also said that Nawaz was not ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ because he brokered a deal in order to escape from jail when his government was toppled in 1999.
According to the Supreme Court’s short order on the case, the then army chief, president and ISI DG were involved in rigging the elections of 1990 and had doled out money to politicians in an attempt to manipulate polls.
In the past, Nawaz Sharif has strongly denied allegations of receiving funds from the ISI during the 1990 elections. He said Mehran Bank owner Yunus Habib, who allegedly gave loaned money to the ISI in the 1990s, had a ‘criminal’ past and he did not remember ever meeting him.
Nawaz Sharif is a PML-N candidate from Lahore’s NA-120 constituency. Nawaz Sharif is contesting elections after a gap of 16 years. After his government was ousted in 1999, he could not contest the 2002 general elections as he went to Saudi Arabia.

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