Arrest warrant against Nawaz Sharif in land case

M Zulqernain

Lahore, April 26 (PTI) A Pakistani anti-graft body on Sunday issued an arrest warrant against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a land related corruption case.

'The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued arrest warrants of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif in the land case involving Jang Group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman. Sharif was served notices and questionnaire in this case but no response came from him who is in London for his medical treatment,' a NAB official told PTI on Sunday.

Jang Group, also known as Geo Group, is a subsidiary of Dubai-based company Independent Media Corporation. The official said the NAB would move the accountability court to declare Nawaz Sharif a proclaimed offender.

The NAB on March 12 had arrested Mir Shakilur Rahman in the case. He is in the bureau's custody on a physical remand till April 28.

Three-time premier Nawaz Sharif left for London in November last year after the Lahore High Court granted him four-week permission for his heart condition.

Sharif was given bail in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption case in which he was serving seven-year imprisonment in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail.

'Once Sharif's is declared proclaimed offender then we will pursue the process of his repatriation,' the official said on Sunday.

'The decision to issue Mr Sharif's arrest warrants has been taken on his non-cooperation with NAB in the 54-kanal land in Lahore he had awarded illegally to Mir Shakilur Rehman in 1986 when he was chief minister of Punjab,' the official said.

Sharif had given an undertaking to the Lahore High Court to return to Pakistan citing his record to face the process of law and justice within four weeks or as soon as he is declared fit to travel.

Sharif, who was diagnosed with an immune system disorder, has been advised by a PTI government's panel of doctors to go abroad for treatment.

Sharif, 70, has been diagnosed with a complicated coronary disease. In London's Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital, he underwent cardiovascular evaluation.

According to Sharif's personal physician Dr Adnan Khan, the former premier has been diagnosed with 'complicated coronary artery/ischemic heart disease with significant disease burden. Cardiac perfusion scans scheduled.” In a latest tweet, Khan said: 'As a high risk patient, former PM #NawazSharif's cardiac catheterization/coronary intervention was postponed to be rescheduled at a later date amidst COVID-19 pandemic, as public/private hospitals limited their admissions/procedures. Presently managed on aggressive medical therapy.' PTI MZ IND IND