CapitalTV: AC approves 10 days physical remand of Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif

"We will prove that allegations against Shahbaz Sharif are baseless", he said.

The Punjab information minister said the former chief minister had hired expensive worldwide consultants and offered them millions of rupees, adding that Mr Sharif also squandered public money by sending his favourites to foreign tours for selecting the consultants.

Shehbaz Sharif will be presented before an accountability court in Lahore.

Shehbaz, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inside its Lahore office where he was summoned to record his statement before a combined investigations team in connection with the Punjab Saaf Pani Company case. His private staff who accompanied him as security were also asked to leave, Dawn newspaper reported.

Huge crowd of PML-N workers have started gathering outside the accountability court and have been chanting slogans in favour of party president Shehbaz Sharif.

The NAB accused PML President Shehbaz Sharif for misusing his powers as Chief Minister Punjab in an inquiry pertaining to Punjab Land Development Company. The second case involves the ₹4 billion Punjab Saaf Pani Company scams. The arrest came a little over a week ahead of the by-polls scheduled for October 14. He has fled to the United Kingdom and the NAB has written to the interior ministry to bring him back from overseas through Interpol.

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Shahbaz's close confidant Ahad Cheea and Sharif's principal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad are already in the NAB's custody in the Ashiana housing scheme scam. Subsequently, NAB granted time to Shehbaz Sharif to gather proof, but he could not produce anything.

The verdict of PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb is also circulating in regard to this case. The PMLN leader benefitted massively while the national treasury of Pakistan took a huge hit.

In a statement, the party leadership said that the "history of using NAB political opponents was being repeated" and termed the arrest "illegal" as it was without any permission from the NA speaker; hence, "against the law". The minister distanced his government from the arrest, saying it is completely "neutral" in this matter, but it will support NAB as "an independent institution" to go after the corrupt.

But, the Islamabad High Court freed the trio on bail last month and suspended their sentence after they challenged the Avenfield verdict.

The Panama Papers case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in the 1990s when he twice served as Pakistan's prime minister to purchase assets in London.

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