ISLAMABAD - Former Railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique on Wednesday approached Islamabad High Court seeking protective bails in NAB cases.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhar Kayani will take up the petitions moved by Saad Rafique and his brother.

The petitioners moved the court through his counsel Amjad Pervez and cited Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and DG NAB Lahore as respondents. They stated in the petition, “Political history of Pakistan is replete with numerous examples of political victimisation and use of state machinery and abuse of law for settling political scores and manoeuvring.”

“It was in the above context that in post coup 1999 era, an inquiry was authorised against the petitioner under NAO 1999 during the course of which the entire career of the petitioner was probed into at length, yet the NAB could not find out any wrongdoing against the petitioner notwithstanding immense pressure by then military dictator,” said the petition.

According to the petitioners, after probe over a period of 3 years, the inquiry was closed and the inconvenience caused to the petitioner was regretted by the bureau. They said that before general election 2018, the petitioner was served with call up notice on the subject of an inquiry against management/developers of Paragon City Pvt. Ltd. and others.

They continued that in response to it, they submitted the requisite information and documents through written reply while they also appeared in person before combined investigation team and extended full cooperation. They maintained that under the garb of above said inquiry, the petitioners were also interrogated regarding his business income. “Although the official of the bureau were unable to confront the petitioner with any evidence worth name to contradict his stance, yet they kept on fishing and sniffing expedition against the petitioner,” said the petition.

They mentioned that they were again served with a call up notice on June 25 on the subject of an inquiry against officials/management of Punjab Land Development Company, although the petitioners had never had any concern with the said matter.

The petitioners said that the fishing expedition against them was prompted by ill intention and political motivation to damage image of the petitioner to influence the outcome of the general elections.

They said that the ill intention on the part of the officials of the bureau becomes evident from the fact that contrary to the standard norm of inquiry/investigation, the NAB used to release the call up notice to media to create sensation and to give an opportunity to the political rivals to arrange talk shows for their character assassination.

“Despite non-availability of an iota of evidence to show any concern of the petitioners with the Paragon City except as explained above, yet on account of their nefarious designs, the officials of the bureau are bent upon to drag the petitioner and his brother in the affairs of said company with ill intention,” alleged Saad Rafique in his petition.

He added that as per the events unfolded during the last week when leader of opposition in the National Assembly was arrested, it became a matter of public knowledge that NAB chairman and subordinate officials were acting like agents for the present regime.

Therefore, they prayed to the court to direct Chairman NAB to intimate to them particulars of the cases, pending inquiry or investigation against them and to grant them two weeks time in case of issuance of warrants to enable them to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for bail in accordance with law.

They also requested that meanwhile; the petitioners might be admitted to protective bail in the interest of justice.