Yet another clean chit for Nawaz Sharif from NAB

Yet another clean chit for Nawaz Sharif from NAB

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) concluded its investigation on Wednesday, granting former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif exoneration in the Toshakhana vehicle reference. This reference pertains to the Toshakhana, a governmental entity responsible for storing gifts presented to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by foreign heads of state and dignitaries.

The case filed by NAB alleged that during the tenure of then-Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, certain procedures related to the submission of gifts to the Toshakhana were relaxed to allegedly extend illegal benefits to Nawaz Sharif and then-President Asif Ali Zardari. It was claimed that vehicles gifted to them by foreign states and dignitaries were retained against nominal payments, constituting a violation of rules.

An accountability court had previously issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz Sharif in June 2020, as he was absent from hearings due to self-imposed exile in London.

Despite initially challenging the warrants in the Islamabad High Court, Nawaz later withdrew the petition. Subsequently, he was declared a proclaimed offender in the case in September 2020, prompting the initiation of property confiscation and Interpol involvement for his arrest.

However, prior to his return to Pakistan in October of the same year, an accountability court suspended the perpetual arrest warrants issued against Nawaz Sharif. Shortly after his return, bail was granted to him. In November, NAB informed a Lahore accountability court that it had recorded Nawaz's statement in the reference, marking a significant development in the case.