NAB Amendment Ordinance may worsen Mir Shakil’s miseries
Jang/Geo owner has history of ‘corruption, disseminating fake news’
LAHORE: The Jang/Geo Group owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is in trouble – again.
Currently under trial for illegally obtaining 54 kanals of prime land in Lahore, the balding media tycoon notorious for having many skeletons in his cupboard could be in further trouble after the case took a new turn on Tuesday when the Accountability Court judge asked the prosecutor to find the impact of NAB Amendment Ordinance on it.
Asad Ali, the Accountability Court judge, has now ordered the NAB prosecutor to appear in the next hearing on November 2 with instructions from the authorities following the recently passed NAB Ordinance.
The case against Mir Shakil, filed by NAB in June 2020, has not moved at a swift pace, mainly due to the delaying tactics of the defence lawyers.
This 34-year-old case also involves ex-premier Nawaz Sharif, who was chief minister Punjab at that time. The NAB reference said that the land, situated in Block-H, Johar Town was illegally allotted to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in connivance with Nawaz Sharif against the exemption policy, causing a loss of Rs.143.53 million to the national exchequer.
“The accused Mir Shakil obtained 54 plots of one kanal each on exemption, with the support of then Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif,” the NAB prosecutor said. He further said that Mir Shakil incorporated two streets running in these allocated plots with the involvement of Nawaz Sharif.
“Later, the accused Mir Shakil transferred these plots in the name of his wife and minor children to cover up his crime,” he added.
Mir Shakil was present with his sons Ismail and Ishaq during the court proceedings while the other co-accused, the former DG of the LDA, Humayun Faiz Rasool and Bashir Ahmad, also appeared before the court.
Another co-accused Nawaz Sharif has been declared a fugitive in this case for not appearing despite being summoned.
In the NAB reference, Mir Shakil, former DG LDA Humayun Faiz Rasool and Bashir Ahmad have been found guilty.
Advocate Amjad Pervez, in a statement which could be seen as a solid piece of evidence in the case, admitted that Mir Shakil got more lands than actually allotted to him.
NAB witnesses Azhar Ali and Mohammad Omar were also summoned on Wednesday for cross-examination.
Meanwhile, Bol News anchorperson Fiza Akbar Khan analysing the case in her programme “Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga’’ said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has a long history of corruption and misusing his media connections to illegally expand his business and personal interests.
“While on the one hand, Mir Shakil and his puppets such as Umar Cheema, indulge in defamatory and propaganda campaigns against their rivals, on the other the notorious media tycoon uses his media clout to further his commercial interests,” said Dr Fiza.
“Mir Shakil’s media house is a rumour-mill that generates nasty and fake news,” she alleged. Citing an example, Dr Fiza said that the Jang/Geo owner even used the ICIJ platform and it’s recently-released Pandora Papers to disseminate fake news and hurl mud on the rivals. “This has compromised the entire ICIJ investigations,” she added.
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