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Pakistan Govt Initiates Action Against Former PM Sharif's Sugar Mills, Takes Possession of Encroached Land

Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when the accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case - one of the three corruption cases filed against him.

PTI

Updated:September 29, 2019, 8:10 PM IST
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Pakistan Govt Initiates Action Against Former PM Sharif's Sugar Mills, Takes Possession of Encroached Land
File photo of Nawaz Sharif. (REUTERS)

Lahore: The Pakistan government has taken action against jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's sugar mills in the country's Punjab province and also took over the possession of 36 kanals of land which it allegedly encroached upon some 37 years ago.

"The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has retrieved 36 kanals of land encroached by the Sharif family's mills in Sahiwal, some 200 kms from Lahore, 37 years ago," Gohar Nafees, the chief of ACE, said.

Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 when the accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case - one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court's July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case.

Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing and allege that the corruption cases against them were politically motivated. Nafees said Ittefaq Sugar Mills of the Sharif family had encroached area of the state land measuring 36 kanals and made part of it in 1982.

However, the mills had shifted its machinery to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province to set up another sugar mills which was stopped by the apex court of late.

Nafees said he has ordered a through inquiry into the matter directing to fix the responsibility in this regard and receive 'rent' from the mills owners for 37 years so national exchequer's loss could be compensated.

"The Sharif family members will soon be issued notices in this regard by ACE to record their statements with regard to encroachment of the state land," he said, adding no rent of the land has been paid since 1982 and its worth is in billions.

The anti-corruption body may also quiz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail regarding a three-decade old case pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of land belonging to Baba Farid shrine in Pakpattan, some 200 kms from Lahore.

Sharif being the chief minister of Punjab is accused of allotting the land in 1986 in violation of the court order. He earlier in a reply to investigators said: "It is over 30 years old case and I do not remember anything about this. My legal team will give a reply in this regard."

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