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Ashiana Housing Scam: Shehbaz Sharif produced before court!

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  • Post category:Pakistan / Politics
  • Post last modified:07/10/2018
  • Reading time:8 mins read

LAHORE: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif has been produced before the Accountability Court in Ashiana Housing Scam here today.

Though apparently disturbed Shehbaz Sharif was brought amid tight security in armored vehicle PML-N workers claimed on the vehicle and had to force down.

The activists kept on protesting outside the Court raising slogans against his arrest yesterday. NAB was seeking a 14-day physical remand of the former chief minister of Punjab. However, the Accountability Court had granted 10-dayphysical remand 

Earlier, NAB officials presented Shahbaz Sharif before Accountability Court Judge Syed Najamul Hassan in Lahore today with a request to issue his physical remand for fourteen days to complete interrogation.

During the hearing, NAB prosecutor told the court that Shahbaz Sharif being former chief minister misused his power and caused a huge loss to national exchequer.

Shahbaz Sharif denied all the charges against him, saying he as chief minister saved billions of rupees in development projects.


A relevant piece published earlier:

NAB has arrested PML-N President (Ex-CM Punjab), Shehbaz Sharif her today in Ashiana Housing scandal. He will be produced before Accountability Court tomorrow. 

Commenting on the development Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Fawad stressed the importance of Accountability in order to shatter the status quo. He further said that the arrest was first in a series of arrests to be made in the coming days. 

Information Minister while talking to the Media at an event in Khewra near Pind Dadan Khan stated that accountability process would move forward. He went on to remind that these are the people who have plundered the national wealth through corruption and caused huge damages to the national exchequer.

Holding that NAB was an independent institution, he said people wanted across the board accountability of all the corrupt elements. He said that the country would make progress with a transparent system of accountability.
The minister said there was no role of any minister or government official in the arrest of former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif by the NAB authorities. He made it clear that he never talked about the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif. 
To a question, he said it was strange that transactions of billions of rupees being done in the accounts of cooks and drivers.

It is pertinent to mention here that ousted prime minister’s principal secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad had reportedly admitted that he acted according to the instructions of Shehbaz Sharif. 

Readers may recall that NAB had probed the Ashiana scam following receipt of complaints apropos a shady deal involving 1517571m of land. 

Responding to the PTI-Govt.’s act PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb termed the arrest of the Leader of the Opposition as an act of political revenge. She pointed out that Shahbaz Sharif was summoned by NAB in Saaf Pani case but was arrested in Ashiana Housing Scheme. 

PML-N spokesperson, who had no prior information about the arrest, claimed that neither government land nor funds were utilized in the Ashiana Housing Scheme. Continuing to defend her Party leaders Marriyum PML-N leadership has gone through accountability, but the corruption of not a single penny had been proved.

Insisting that Shehbaz Sharif had carried out numerous projects in various parts of Punjab, specifically focused on backward areas for development, Marriyum said that PML-N leaders were pondering over the situation and the party would soon figure out a modus operandi to react. 

Son of Shehbaz Sharif pointing finger at Imran Khan held that the PM himself was involved in helicopter case. He said that nabbing of Sharif family members should stop.

Khursheed Shah of PPP-P condemning the arrest asked the government to avoid political victimization. He insinuated that since the government was resorting to such actions because it had failed to deliver on its 100-day agenda.

Relevant: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan Friday said the whole nation wanted the elements involved in corrupt practices punished.  The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which was an independent institution, had apprehended the former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana Housing Scheme scam and the government had nothing to do with it, he said talking to a private news channel. The minister said NAB had been carrying out an inquiry into alleged corruption by Shehbaz Sharif in the housing scheme and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had no role in that regard. NAB chairman Justice ® Javed Iqbal was also appointed by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, he added.  Ali Muhammad said the PTI government wanted a strong accountability system to eradicate the menace of corruption from the country.  To a query, he said if Hamza Shehbaz had any evidence regarding his father, he should present the same before the court.

Relevant Piece: Provincial Information & Culture Minister Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government had nothing to do with Shehbaz Sharif’s arrest in Aashiyana case reference, neither it was prompted by the October 14 by-polls.
Responding to television anchors on Shehbaz Sharif’s appearance in the NAB court here on Saturday, he said the reference was filed by the NAB during Nawaz Sharif government in 2014, adding
that Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz had been appearing before the NAB during their rule in Punjab and Islamabad.
The Punjab information minister said the government would fully assist the Supreme Court, NAB, FIA, and FBR so that the corrupt elements could be held accountable.
To a question, the provincial minister said NAB was an independent institution and it should be allowed to work freely so that it could perform the national duty of exposing the corrupt. “The Sharifs should not befool the public and let NAB do its work”, Chohan said.
To another query, he said Shehbaz Sharif and his accomplices former ministers Saad Rafique and Salman Rafique had caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer, adding not a single home was allotted to the poor in Ashiana Housing Scheme. He said the Sharifs and their toadies looted the nation without remorse during the past 10 years.
About the protests, he said people would not take to the roads for the former corrupt rulers, adding that PML-N workers may do whatever they liked. He said people were well aware of how the Sharif’s had looted public money during the past 10 years.
Chohan said the Sharifs should not speak of public support as they could not gather 300 people in their own city at Shehbaz Sharif’s appearance in the NAB court.
To a question, the information minister said the PTI government was well aware of the sanctity of human life and it would never issue any orders like the Model Town police action against innocent people. He said whatever may the PML-N workers do to protest but the Punjab government would never
allow shelling, firing or lathi-charge by the police.
He said PML-N workers were guilty of interference in official work. Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political workers had neither come into power to plunder public money nor they would indulge in money-laundering. He said the PTI government would assist the national institutions so that the corrupt were brought to book.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.