ISLAMABAD - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that the NAB case against him was going on without any charge of corruption.

Talking to the media outside an accountability court, he said that all the cases in NAB were usually about corruption and bribery but in his case, there was nothing about bribery or corruption.

“If we had to make money through corruption, it would could have been made during the mega project of Lahore-Islamabad Motorway,” he said.

He said questions were being raised about the time when he was a student and not in politics. “I was not in politics in 1978 and was a school going boy in 1962,” he said.

Nawaz said: “We have seven houses in Lahore and all were built on 90 kanals in 1969 and the market value of these homes was much higher than the London flats.”

 He said: “If we purchased London flats through illegal and unfair means then why we are not being questioned about the status of our properties in Lahore.”

Talking about the proceedings in NAB court, he said: “I have been watching the star witness (Wajid Zia) for more than a week but so far he has failed to point out any wrongdoing.”

“The cases against me stand no ground and should have been dismissed but it did not happen. The only objective is to punish Nawaz Sharif,” he said.  “The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is going to win the next general election but a few people do not want this to happen,” he said. 

Talking to the media, his daughter Maryam Nawaz demanded that allegations against them should be made public.

“Corruption and corrupt practices have never been proved against the Sharif family, therefore, assets cases have been filed against us,” she said.

Meanwhile, prosecution witness Wajid Zia was cross-examined by defense counsel Khawaja Harris on the fourth consecutive day.

During the cross-examination, when Zia was asked that 75 percent of share of the Gulf-Steel Mills was sold in 1978 and it was renamed as Ahli Steel Mills and whether he verified all this information in his investigation from UAE authorities, he explained that all the documents provided to JIT were verified, however, the JIT did not verify other associated documents.

Zia explained that the JIT did not investigate and verify other documents except the ones provided by the SC.

Asked if business-transactions of Gulf-Steel Mills were held from 1978 to 1980, the JIT head said: “We asked this query from Tariq Shafi but any such thing did not come to our notice. “We dispatched MLAs to Dubai authorities seeking details about the Gulf Steel Mills, but did not receive any reply”.

When the defence counsel asked did the JIT contact anyone involved in establishing the Gulf Steel Mills, any partner, a buyer or seller of the mills, Zia replied that they contacted Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Tariq Shafi during the investigation and no other else.

Harris pleaded the court to record the entire proceedings of the court contending that the JIT head was changing his statements on simultaneous questions. “Who Wajid Zia is trying to befool, we want to make everything part of the record,” said Harris.

While commenting on documented evidence being made part of Volume-III of the JIT report, the defence counsel pointed out that all these documents were about the status of the Gulf Steel Mills establishment, Dubai municipality’s licence and the area map of the mills. Did the JIT verify all these documents, he asked. On this, Zia said that “we presumed all these documents as correct and did not verify these documents”. He also said that all the provided documents were testified, notarised and ratified by the Foreign Ministry of Dubai. 

Asked if the JIT head read all the petitions filed in the Supreme Court regarding Panamagate case, Zia replied that they analysed the petitions after the JIT was formed.

When questioned if Nawaz Sharif ever admitted that he was owner of the Gulf Steel Mills or any partner of the mills conveyed that Sharif was among partners of the mill, Zia replied that neither the ex-PM said that the Gulf Steel Mills was his property nor any witness confirmed this.

When asked did Nawaz Sharif admit that he got a share from the sold-out 75 percent shares of the Gulf Steel Mills, Zia said that any such statement did not come from any side. Wajid Zia also testified that after the establishment of the Gulf Steel Mills, Nawaz Sharif visited Dubai only twice and that too for two days.

At this point, the NAB prosecutor interrupted said that the defense counsel was repeating the same questions from different angles. On this, Harris said that law was a difficult job for the prosecution and one must learn it first. On this, the NAB prosecutor replied that “you are our senior and we are learning it from you”.

At this point, the NAB prosecutor and the defense counsel exchanged hot words. Zia also said that the defense counsel was confusing him. On that, the defense counsel said that “we are not making you confused and rather your JIT report has created a mess and confusion”.

Harris said that JIT report was very confusing as incomplete documents of page 72 have been enlisted on page 82.

 

 

NOKHAIZ SAHI