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Pakistan’s anti-corruption body has approved a new case against deposed premier Nawaz Sharif, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the authorities to dispose of major graft cases quickly.

Sharif, the 70-year-old supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) who was ousted from power in 2017 by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, is currently in London for medical treatment.

The National Accountability Bureau also approved cases against Sharif’s ex-personal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad, former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal, former foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Aftab Sultan, news reported.

On Thursday, a total of 11 cases were approved at NAB’s Executive Board Meeting (EBM) presided over by its chairman, retired Justice Javed Iqbal.

As indicated by the NAB, a new body of evidence was affirmed against Sharif alongside Chaudhry, Sultan and Fawad for "illicitly" buying 73 high-security vehicles for the security of unfamiliar dignitaries. 

They are blamed for partiality and illicit utilization of vehicles, causing lost over Rs 1,952 million to the public exchequer. 

The EBM additionally affirmed a body of evidence against Ahsan Iqbal and Mohammad Ahmed, temporary worker/proprietor of private firm Ahmed and Sons, for expanding the extent of the Sports City venture in Narowal from Rs 30 million to Rs 3 billion by "mishandling the position". 

They are blamed for wrongfully giving the assets of the government to common government ventures after the eighteenth Amendment by utilizing individual impact, which caused tremendous misfortunes on the public exchequer. 

The body of evidence against Iqbal was endorsed two days after he had said in a private TV television show that the NAB had been researching the Narowal Sports City argument against him for the last over two years yet didn't document a reference.

Sharif is already facing several cases of corruption and misuse of authority which he has declared as a result of political vendetta by the current government led by Prime Minister Khan.

The approval of fresh cases followed a recent speech by Prime Minister Khan that the Opposition would see a “different Imran Khan”, which was interpreted as a threat to arrest more opposition leaders and court cases.

Apart from Sharif and his close aides, the NAB approved cases worth billions of rupees of alleged corruption against several officials and businessmen for causing losses to the country in different projects.

Sharif criticised the military establishment in recent speeches at gatherings of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement.

Days before the July 2018 general elections, Sharif was convicted in the Avenfield properties case and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years in prison for abetment and his son-in-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar to one year.

In December 2018, anti-corruption court judge Arshad Malik convicted Sharif in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and sentenced him to seven years in prison. Judge Malik was later dismissed from service over misconduct.

The IHC later granted bail to Sharif, Maryam and Safdar. Sharif, after his conviction in the Al-Azizia case, was sent to jail but released for eight weeks on medical grounds. The bail-granting order lapsed while the former premier was in London.

The IHC had in September fixed the appeals against conviction of Sharif in Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases. After hearing the pleas, the court rejected Sharif’s applications seeking hearing in absentia and issued his non-bailable arrest warrants.

The court then issued his proclamation giving the former premier final opportunity to join the proceeding before confiscating his properties.

Separately, an accountability court in Islamabad has already confiscated movable and immovable properties of Sharif because he absconded in the Toshakhana case, which is about alleged corruption in purchase of vehicles.

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