Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Shoaib Dastgir has dismissed reports of bullets being fired on the vehicle of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz last week when she appeared before the office of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Lahore. PML-N’s leader claimed Maryam Nawaz’s bullet-proof vehicle was attacked by the Punjab police.
Many police officials were injured when a scuffle broke out last week between policemen and PML-N workers during Maryam’s appearance. Footage of the incident suggested the workers had brought bags full of stones which were pelted at police and security officials.
Experts hired to conduct forensic testing of Maryam Nawaz's car: Rana Sanaullah#TheNews
— The News (@thenews_intl) August 16, 2020
Former Senator Sajid Mir, after meeting Maryam, claimed she had been targeted by some sniper during her appearance, saying the windscreen of her bullet-proof vehicle could not be smashed by a stone.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Dastgir said no evidence was offered to back up claims asserted through reports and social media. He also said the institution of police is an independent one and has no tussle with any political party. However, he warned, those who took the law into their hands will be punished.
Case against Maryam Nawaz: Background and facts
The NAB has also summoned former DC Lahore Noorul Amin Mengal in this regard. This case is against former PM Nawaz Sharif, his mother Shamim Begum, Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif.
The NAB Lahore has asked Maryam to appear before the investigators on August 11 along with details of land acquired by her in Raiwind and Jati Umra. She has been asked to provide sources of funds from which the land was purchased. The NAB has asked Maryam to come with details if she has sold any piece of land along with details about the use of land whether it is being used for agriculture or any commercial activity. As per sources, this investigation is about 3,568 Kanals acquired by the Sharif family in 2013. The NAB will also investigate the former PM along with his mother Shamim Begum after they return to the country from the UK.
Maryam is accused of acquiring 180 Acres (1,440 Kanals) of what was allegedly supposed to be government land in Raiwind. The land transfer was done during DC Amin Mengal and former DG LDA Ahad Cheema’s tenure.
A piece of land measuring over 3,568 Kanals was bought by the Sharif family in 2013. The largest part of the property, 1,936 Kanals, was transferred in the name of Nawaz’s mother Shamim Bibi. The land that was transferred to Maryam was 1,440 Kanals. A 96-Kanal plot each was also transferred to Nawaz and Shahbaz. The sources claimed most of the land was government land which the Sharif family illegally got transferred in their name at cheap rates. Moreover, only the LDA had the authority to deal with such matters but the Sharif family involved local government officials. The property was declared as green land to stop construction around the Sharif family’s Jati Umra mansions.
Maryam Nawaz’s bullet-proof vehicle: Making of a hero?
Some reliable sources claim that Maryam Nawaz was deliberately asked to appear before the NAB so that she may be provided with an opportunity to emerge as a victim of the government’s policy of harassing and targeting the opposition leader. The PML-N workers were asked to come and join their leader. The clash between the law enforcement agencies was expected, some official reports claim. Analysts believe that the NAB could have sent the questionnaire to Maryam to record her statement. “It was unwise to call her to the office,” they added.
See this and decide if it was only pelting of stones or a well thought out act far more sinister in nature. The police were unaware that the car was an armoured one. What they intended to do is clear. When you can’t prosecute, persecute. pic.twitter.com/6FMCWwjjmV
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) August 12, 2020
Interestingly, as the situation turned from bad to worse, the NAB conveyed to Maryam Nawaz that “we cannot hear you in this situation”. Maryam spoke to media, challenged the NAB to face her, and claimed to have been attacked by the Punjab police.