Fresh evidence of graft against Sharifs found: Imran Khan

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his government has dug out new proof of corruption and money laundering against the Sharif family members and fresh cases would be instituted against them in the days to come.

Khan’s comments came during a joint meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentary party and members of the federal and Punjab Cabinets on Wednesday, Dawn online reported.

“The federal and provincial governments’ institutions had collected solid evidence of corruption and money laundering against the Sharifs and cases would soon be instituted formally,” the PTI chief said.

“This will be the first case against the Sharif family members to be instituted by the PTI government,” Khan was quoted as saying by the daily.

Khan expressed resentment over money laundering and corruption that had plagued the country and claimed that the Sharif family members were filling bags of money and laundering it through their frontmen in Dubai, the report said.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to seven years in prison in December after a ruling that Al-Azizia Steel Mills — a Saudi Arabian firm carrying the name of Sharif’s son — belonged to the PML-N leader who could not demonstrate how the project was funded.

Later, the apex court in March granted Sharif a bail of six weeks for health reasons.

In July 2018, a judge of the National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s top anti-corruption organization, had sentenced the three-time Premier to 10 years in prison for corrupt practices in connection with owning luxury properties in an upscale London neighbourhood. His daughter Maryam Nawaz was jailed for seven years.

Both were imprisoned, but in September the sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court while an appeal was heard concerning that case.

In July 2017, the Supreme Court had ousted Sharif as Prime Minister and barred him from public office for life after an investigation spurred by the publication of the Panama Papers found that he failed to disclose payments from a company belonging to his son.

The Panama Papers revealed in April 2016 that three of Sharif’s children had set up offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands through which they owned property in London, leading the top court to order an investigation after a year of protests by the opposition.