Pakistan's anti-graft body arrests opposition leader

Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif

The erstwhile ruling party has called out the anti-graft body for its anti-PML-N bias repeatedly in past, especially after the bureau initiated a probe against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, in the wake of Panama Leaks.

The Punjab information minister said the former chief minister had hired expensive global consultants and offered them millions of rupees, adding that Mr Sharif also squandered public money by sending his favourites to foreign tours for selecting the consultants.

Shehbaz Sharif was brought to the accountability court in an armoured vehicle followed by a fire tender, an ambulance and police mobiles.

He said Mr Sharif had approved the most expensive water filtration system in violation of procurement rules despite the fact that experts had informed him that the stand-alone system was expensive and would cost additional billions of rupees.

All routes leading to the accountability court have been sealed.

However, Shehbaz Sharif was arrested for alleged corruption in Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

Pakistan opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif was arrested Friday for graft, officials said, the latest corruption allegation against the Sharif political dynasty that was ousted from power by ex-cricketer Imran Khan in elections this summer.

Besides Shehbaz, PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique are also allegedly involved and are supposed to appear before the NAB on October 16.

A meeting of the PML-N parliamentary party condemned the arrest, saying: "The unfortunate precedent of using NAB against political opponents is being revived again".

The PML-N president had failed to satisfy the probing team of the bureau during the investigation and was ultimately arrested.

She insisted that the case against PML President is totally baseless, as not even Rs 1 corruption could be proved against him. Leader and workers of the PML-N say they won't take this lying down.

Hours after Sharif's arrest, dozens of his supporters rallied outside the offices of the National Accountability Bureau, where Sharif was being held.

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

"Shehbaz cancelled the contract awarded to M/s Ch A Latif & Sons for infrastructure development of Ashiana Iqbal Housing Project and awarded it to CASA Developers", the NAB prosecutor upheld.

This decision of Shehbaz Sharif was illegal as PLDC was the company which was established for undertaking such housing projects.

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