NAB clears Nawaz Sharif in Toshakhana vehicle reference

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has exonerated former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Toshakhana vehicle reference, marking a significant development in the ongoing legal proceedings.

The Toshakhana, responsible for housing gifts bestowed upon government officials by foreign dignitaries, became the focal point of the case, alleging illegal benefits extended to Nawaz and then-President Asif Ali Zardari by then-Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

The accusation centered on the retention of vehicles gifted to them by foreign states and dignitaries, allegedly facilitated through relaxed procedures. The reference highlighted that the accused retained these vehicles for their personal benefit, against a nominal payment of 15 per cent of the total value.

Previously, an accountability court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz in June 2020, following his absence from hearings due to self-imposed exile in London. Despite challenges and declarations of proclaimed offender status, legal proceedings progressed.

Nawaz’s return to Pakistan in October 2023 marked a turning point, with the accountability court suspending perpetual arrest warrants and granting him bail. Subsequent developments included Nawaz’s statement recorded by NAB in November, culminating in the recent clearance from NAB in the Toshakhana case.

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