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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hamza hiding behind family to evade arrest: Fawad Chaudhry

News Desk |

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry told a press conference on Saturday that Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Mian Hamza Shehbaz, whose house was raided by the National Accountability Bureau a day earlier for his arrest, is creating chaos out of the whole situation and needed to give himself up.

“Hamza Shehbaz should hand himself over to the authorities instead of using his family to avoid arrest and end the drama,” he said.

Government has no say in NAB affairs.

“The government has no intervention in the process; the process of accountability will go on”.

“The government is watching as a third party. The Sharif family wants the law to work according to them; that is not possible or fair,” Chaudhry said.

Zardari should return stolen wealth or prepare to go to jail.

The information minister said that Asif Zardari, who was facing money laundering and fake accounts trials had only two options “either return the stolen money or hand himself in; there is no third option.”

“They can use the Sindh card all they want, the accountability process will not stop.”

Earlier, a team from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday, 6th April, returned to the Shehbaz family’s 96-H Model Town residence in Lahore to arrest Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz, making it the second failed attempt to arrest the suspect.

Read more: Fawad Chaudhry mocks Bilawal’s ‘Karwan-e-Bhutto Train March’

After a nearly five-hour standoff outside the house, local press reported that the Lahore High Court’s chief justice had stopped the NAB from arresting Hamza till Monday, April 8th after being petitioned by the PML-N’s legal team. The arresting party started returning around 4pm after the short order was issued.

In the aftermath of Friday’s havoc which saw NAB officials enter the Sharif residence, NAB officials had said that they would not enter the house and that the PML-N leader should turn himself in. However, NAB also requested an accountability court seeking permission to enter the house to arrest Hamza.

“We mean to arrest Hamza Shehbaz, by all means, today,” the NAB deputy director leading the team had told the media on Saturday. After the accountability court issued its decision on the matter collaring the watchdog from arresting the accused until Monday, PML-N’s counsel Atta Tarar, while commenting on the order, stated that the court had “dismissed” NAB’s petition and refused to give NAB and police permission to raid the house to arrest Hamza.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif insists on going to London, Fawad Chaudhry

He said the arresting party should, therefore, turn back. The counsel’s statement is contrary to facts, as the court has merely given the accused and the arresting party an interim of 48 hours; there has been no dismissal. The court had earlier said that NAB is already at liberty to arrest accused parties if it has backing evidence.