LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday arrested PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif from the Lahore High Court (LHC) after his bail was rejected by the court in the money-laundering case.
The LHC rejected the bail petition filed by the PML-N president in the asset beyond means and money-laundering case and cancelled his interim bail before NAB officials took him into custody from the court premises.
A large number of PML-N workers, including women, who were at the court to support the former chief minister of Punjab, raised chants against the anti-graft watchdog and the incumbent PTI-led government.
Shortly after the arrest, a scuffle broke out between the security personnel and the Shehbaz’s supporters.
Reacting to the news of her uncle’s arrest, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said Shehbaz was “arrested ONLY because he REFUSED to play in the hands of those who wanted to use him against his brother”.
“He preferred standing behind prison bars than to stand against his brother,” she wrote on Twitter. “You will not be able to save your false and fake mandate even by arresting Shehbaz Sharif.
“Whatever decisions were made by the Shehbaz Sharif-led PML-N delegation at the APC, every PML-N worker will remain steadfast on these promises.
“This revengeful accountability cannot discourage Nawaz Sharif and his allies. The time is not far when this government and those who brought it into power are held accountable by the nation,” she added.
Party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb also criticised the move, saying: “I want to state it clearly here that the PLN-N leader was arrested by the NAB on the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
‘NAB was ordered to arrest Shehbaz before GB polls’
“Since the last two years, the public has been witness to this spectacle of the NAB trying to subdue emerging voices by using corruption and various other cases.
“The 58-volume document doesn’t have Shehbaz Sharif’s name anywhere but just like the general elections of 2018, it has been decided to rig the upcoming Gilgit-Baltistan polls,” she added.
The PML-N leader further claimed that Shehbaz’s arrest was “an attempt to paralyse [the developments following the] APC”.
“We are not afraid of these tactics and will face all odds bravely,” she said. “This is a scheme — not to arrest Shehbaz Sharif — but to arrest the projects and initiatives to bring progress in the country. The NAB was ordered to arrest the leader before the GB polls and that is what has happened.
“Nobody is asking how the transactions were made from 23 foreign accounts, how the funds were later used in staging dharnas [sit-ins].
“Nobody is asking the people who have assets beyond means. I would like to convey this to the PML-N supporters that your leadership is valiant and is facing all odds in the face of adversity,” Aurangzeb added.
LHC earlier extended bail till Sept 28
The former chief minister of Punjab had earlier reached the LHC for a hearing on his interim bail petition in the money-laundering case filed by the NAB.
A two-member bench of the LHC presided over the hearing, while lawyers representing the former Punjab chief minister presented their arguments after a three-day hiatus.
Last week, the LHC had extended Shehbaz’s interim bail in the same case till September 28.
In December, last year, the anti-graft watchdog had issued orders to freeze 23 properties owned by former Punjab chief minister and his sons, Hamza and Suleman, over claims they had acquired assets beyond their known sources of income and committed money-laundering.
According to the NAB, an investigation against Shehbaz, Hamza, Suleman, and others had revealed that the PML-N president had acquired properties in the name of his wives Nusrat and Tehmina Durrani.
Among the frozen properties were nine plots in Lahore’s Johar Town, four in Judicial Colony, two houses in Model Town, and some others in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA).
Moreover, the anti-corruption body had also frozen a cottage and a villa in Pir Sohawa, as well as two plots in Chiniot.