News Desk |
The anti-corruption watchdog has summoned the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif in a case pertaining to assets beyond means.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned ex-chief minister of Punjab with directions to carry with him relevant record and documents for joining the investigation in the assets beyond means reference at NAB’s Lahore office at 11 am on July 5.
Shehbaz was also granted bail by the LHC in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.
According to NAB spokesperson, the media reported, Shehbaz and his family members are allegedly involved in laundering Rs3.3 billion. Shehbaz’s son Hamza Shahbaz, who is the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, is in NAB custody. Hamza attends the assembly session when the Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervaiz Elahi issues his production orders.
On April 8, when NAB had summoned Shehbaz in the assets beyond means reference, he had maintained that his son Salman Shahbaz looked after his financial matters. Before being released on bail in the Ashiyana Housing Scheme case, Shahbaz had told the anti-corruption watchdog that Salman managed his financial affairs.
Subsequently, the media reported, NAB formed a committee to look into the issue and opened the assets beyond means case after finding “evidence”.
NAB wasting court’s time: Shehbaz Sharif
On June 13, in his first appearance before an accountability court after returning from London, the PML-N president had claimed that the NAB was wasting the country and court’s time as the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case against him was based on lies.
According to NAB spokesperson, the media reported, Shehbaz and his family members are allegedly involved in laundering Rs3.3 billion.
Shehbaz had made these remarks after he appeared before the court in Lahore in the Ashiana housing and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases. During the proceedings, when the court asked PML-N leader if he wanted to say something, Shehbaz said NAB had made a “fraud case” against him.
“I have served the country. Ashiana case is based on lies,” Shehbaz said, adding “NAB is wasting the country and the court’s time … the entire case is based on lies”.
On June 9, he had returned to Pakistan following a trip to London. On April 9, Shehbaz had announced a “quick visit” to London after his name was removed from the no-fly list on the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Father, son plead not guilty
On April 9, a court in Lahore had indicted Shehbaz and his son Hamza in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. Both the suspects had pleaded not guilty and maintained that they had not only saved Rs2,300 billion but the money was never misused.
The PML-N president had claimed that the NAB was wasting the country and court’s time as the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case against him was based on lies.
Earlier, the LHC had granted and extended Hamza’s interim bail in an ongoing investigation into assets beyond known sources of income. Following the dismissal of bail, NAB had arrested Hamza from the LHC premises. On February 14, Shehbaz was also granted bail by the LHC in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.
Previously, a NAB team had tried to arrest Hamza twice on grounds that he was not cooperating in the ongoing investigation but couldn’t succeed because of resistance by guards and the party workers.
Subsequently, a case was registered against Hamza’s guards on an application filed by the NAB saying that Hamza’s guards had manhandled members of the NAB team, tore their clothes, and threatened their lives when they raided his residence to arrest him.