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Graft charges may spoil Sharif brothers’ poll plan

world Updated: Apr 06, 2013 00:36 IST

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has objected to the candidature of former premier Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif in the upcoming general election, saying they had defaulted on a bank loan worth Rs. 3.48 billion.

The National Accountability Bureau on Thursday raised the issue in an official communication sent to the Election Commission.

Three graft cases against the Sharifs and their relatives are currently pending in an anti-corruption court in Rawalpindi, NAB officials told the media.

The Sharif brothers have been accused of defaulting on a loan that was taken for the Hudaibiya Paper Mills.

Nawaz Sharif, the head of the main opposition PML-N, and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif were also accused of accumulating money and assets beyond their declared means of income by misusing authority.

A case in this regard was filed against them in an anti-corruption court in Attack in March 2000.

Several of their relatives, including Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Shamim Akhtar, Sabiha Abbas, Maryam Safdar and Ishaq Dar, are among the accused in the cases.

A spokesman for the PML-N rejected the allegations against the party’s top leadership, saying the accusations made by the NAB were “misleading”.

He alleged that NAB officials were acting at the behest of the previous Pakistan People’s Party-led government to target PML-N leaders.

The Election Commission recently made the NAB part of the set up for scrutinising the candidates for the May 11 general election.