Opposition asks speaker to call National Assembly session on Shehbaz Sharif's arrest

Arturo Kim
October 8, 2018

Former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at its Lahore office in the Rs14 billion Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

He had reportedly appeared for a routine hearing of the Saaf Pani case - another major scandal against the PML-N leadership - when NAB officials arrested him in connection with the housing scam.

By-elections to fill 11 parliamentary seats and 19 provincial assembly seats are scheduled for October 14.

The court ordered him remanded in custody for 10 days to be interrogated, his lawyer Azam Nazir Tarar said.

"The NAB Lahore has arrested former Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif in Aashyana company case".

The protesters reminded that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Safdar and Captain (r) Safdar were arrested before the general elections but were released afterwards as nothing could be proved against them.

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A NAB court on Saturday heard charges that Sharif in 2014 illegally canceled a contract with a construction company and sought to award it to another company, allegedly for a bribe.

It is worth mentioning here that in the election 2018 PML-N had nearly clean swept in Sialkot district by securing all 5 national assembly seats and 10 out of total 11 provincial assembly seats, but there was no notable leader present in Sialkot to launch any strong protest against the arrest of the chief of PML-N. A large number of PML-N supporters gathered outside the court and chanted slogans against current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan for taking revenge from Sharif brothers.

Nawaz Sharif condemned the arrest as a "ridiculous and state victimization". The PPP chairman said his party had no issues with accountability, but there must be no political victimisation in the name of accountability.

Shahbaz's son-in-law Ali Imran Yousuf is also facing corruption inquiries in this case.

An accountability court in July sentenced the former leader and his daughter to 10-year and seven-year terms in prison, respectively, over the purchase of luxury apartments in London in the 1990s.

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