LAHORE - The National Accountability Bureau has requested the Interior Ministry to place on the exit control list the names of Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz Sharif and his brother Salman Shehbaz.

A NAB spokesman on Friday told reporters in Lahore that the authority had sent a letter to the Interior Ministry. The authority recommended to the ministry that Hamza and Salman Shehbaz should not be allowed to leave the country since they are under investigation.

Both sons of former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif were summoned by the anti-graft body to appear before a joint investigation team in connection with a corruption case related to Ramazan Sugar Mills last month. NAB officials claimed that Rs200 million were paid from the national exchequer for the construction of a bridge in Chiniot district allegedly to facilitate the Ramazan Sugar Mills owned by the Sharif family.

However, Salman Shehbaz deliberately skipped appearance in Lahore NAB and left for London two weeks ago. The name of Salman Shehbaz was not placed on the exit control list when he had left for London.

It is not clear if Salman Shehbaz would return to Pakistan to face the investigation in near future. On the other hand, a source in the PML-N claimed that Salman Shehbaz would soon return to face NAB investigation. He said that despite serious reservations, the Sharif family has been facing NAB inquiries.

When contacted, a spokesman for the anti-graft watchdog confirmed that Hamza and Salman were summoned by NAB in the last week of October but they failed to appear before the combined investigation team. He said that both the brothers were summoned by the authority in connection with a corruption case.

Earlier, the NAB Lahore had summoned both the sons of former chief minister to appear before the investigation team on October 30. Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif is already in NAB custody in connection with Ashiyana Housing Scheme, a government-run housing scheme for low-income people.

Last week, Hamza Shehbaz appeared before the combined investigation team at NAB Lahore headquarters. According to sources, three deputy directors of NAB from the intelligence, prosecution, and investigation wings interrogated Hamza for an hour at the Lahore office.

In April, Imran Ali Yousaf, the son-in-law of Shehbaz Sharif, had also skipped appearance in the NAB in a corruption case related to the Punjab Power Development Company. Later, he went abroad and did not return till date.

Ali Yousaf has been accused of receiving millions of rupees from the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PPDC. Yousaf had not only failed to appear before a combined investigation team of the NAB but also provided no reason for not turning up.

On the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, NAB chief Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal last year had ordered a probe into 56 companies over allegations of embezzlement, corruption and irregularities.