Ashiana Housing Scandal: NAB gives ‘clean chit’ to PM Shahbaz SharifBreaking

May 20, 2023

The National Accountability Bureau has absolved Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of any financial wrongdoing in the Aashiana Housing Scheme scandal on Saturday. A few days ago, the anti-graft watchdog submitted a supplementary investigation report to an accountability court of Lahore which declared Prime Minister Shehbaz and his son Hamza Shehbaz innocent in the money laundering case. In today’s NAB report, the bureau said that it did not find any proof of misappropriation in the process of awarding Aashiana Housing project tenders.

It declared that neither the project incurred any financial loss to the national exchequer during a period of its execution, nor did then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif accrue any pecuniary gain. The report further stated that no proof was found against Shehbaz Sharif regarding misuse of his authority, adding that no element of deceit on his part was either detected in the Aashiana project. On May 10, the NAB submitted its report to an accountability court declaring Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz and others “innocent” in Rs7 billion references filed against them by the anti-graft body under money laundering charges and for accumulating assets beyond means. The report said, “Shehbaz Sharif and other accused have been declared innocent. Investigation was carried out again under the new NAB law, and corruption related to the assets was not found.”

Case hearing adjourned till May 27

Earlier, the NAB submitted its report on Aashiana reference to the accountability court in Lahore. The accountability court heard the case on Saturday. The court sought final arguments on the acquittal pleas of Shehbaz Sharif and other accused. Lawyer Amjad Pervaiz told the court that the NAB gave a clean chit to Shehbaz and others in the Aashiana Iqbal reference. The lawyer said that he was ready to give his arguments on the petitions seeking acquittal of the accused in the case. But the judge remarked that he was not feeling well and told him to present his arguments during the next hearing. With this, the court adjourned the case till May 27.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP