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LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has formally initiated the recovery process from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 10 years along with a fine of eight million pound in the Avenfield Apartments case.

In this regard, the NAB Lahore has sent letters to the Lahore and Sheikhupura deputy commissioners, directing them to make arrangements to sale out all the existing properties owned by the former PM in these regions.

As per the NAB record, Nawaz Sharif owns an agricultural land measuring 940 kanal in Mauza Manak, Lahore, agriculture land measuring 299 kanal in Badhuki Sahni, 103 kanal agriculture land in Mauza Mall, 312 kanal in Mauza Sultankey, 14 kanal agriculture land in Mauza Mandiala, Sheikhupura, a Banglow#135 at Upper Mall Lahore besides others.

The NAB directed the deputy commissioners (DCs) that the amount, secured through the auction of the abovementioned lands, would be deposited into the national kitty which will be utilized for development projects. The letters informed the DCs that if the amount recovered through the auction doesn't cover the fine amount, the NAB would again authorize a fresh hunt for Mian Nawaz Sharif's other properties.

A NAB spokesperson said they would also recover the fine amount of two million pounds from Maryam Nawaz, the co-accused in the case. He said that Maryam was sentenced to seven years imprisonment along with a fine of two million pounds by an accountability court.

The spokesperson said that under the leadership of NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, the bureau successfully achieved numerous milestones and paved the way for record breaking recoveries as did by securing Rs538 billion from corrupt elements during the last four years span.

"Since assuming the charge as NAB chairman in 2017, Javed Iqbal rejuvenated NAB to the extent that it dealt with mega corruption scams by putting them on fast-track mechanism and made recoveries from those elements which were earlier presumed to be "untouchable"," he added.

He said the current value of the fine imposed on Nawaz Sharif is approximately Rs1.85 billion, and for the recovery of this amount the NAB would auction properties of the former prime minister in Lahore and Sheikhupura.

He added that after conclusion of the trial proceedings, an accountability court in Islamabad, vide its judgment dated 6th July, 2018, held that Avenfield Apartments (Nos. 16, 16-A, 17 & 17-A) stand forfeited to the federal government whereas Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif filed an appeal before Islamabad High Court against the judgment.

The spokesperson said the appeal (No.121/2018) was dismissed by IHC vide order dated 23rd June 2021, and the judgment passed by accountability court was considered as "final" after the accused failed to file an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP).

He added that it was pertinent to mention that it would be a major recovery from any ex-prime minister in "corruption case" in the history of Pakistan and it would trumpet the success of NAB regarding recoveries in political circles. "NAB has started showing recognition in cases against politicians after making remarkable recoveries in cases related to housing sector and misuse of authority matters," the spokesperson added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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