LAHORE: On Wednesday, a trial court in Lahore agreed to submit a corruption case brought against PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA). The request came from the nation’s highest accountability body.
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The Rafique brothers and other individuals were named in a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for suspected irregularities at Paragon Housing Society, a private housing society outside of Lahore, during the PTI party’s leadership.
The National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, the law that regulates NAB, was revised by the federal government, which is run by the PML-N, and the reference had been closed. The Paragon case was among the dozens of suits that were revived after the highest court invalidated the changes last month.
The case involved alleged irregularities, which the LDA, as the city’s development body, was in a better position to investigate, according to the NAB’s plea to an accountability court.
In the meantime, Kamran Kayani and Nadeem Zia, Shehbaz Sharif’s co-accused in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme reference, were cleared by a Lahore accountability court. On Wednesday, the court issued the previously reserved order.
Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif was deemed “innocent” in the reference by the NAB in May of this year. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said in a report given to the accountability court that it had uncovered “no evidence” of corruption in the contract for the 2010 Lahore plan.
The audit states that Shehbaz Sharif did not profit financially from the deal. The study had also attested to the fact that the initiative had not resulted in any financial losses for the Treasury.
The anti-graft official had submitted the reference in 2018, charging Shehbaz of abusing his power when carrying out a low-cost housing programwhile serving as Punjab’s chief minister.