Court approves seven-day transit remand of Shehbaz Sharif

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LAHORE : An accountability court on Thursday approved the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request for a seven-day transit remand of  Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif.

The leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, who has been in NAB’s custody since October 5 in connection to the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case, was presented before the accountability court in Lahore as NAB requested for his transit remand.

As the hearing went under way, the former Punjab chief minister presented arguments in his own defense and said, “False cases were formed against me.”

“NAB officials blackmail me. I have blood cancer and am not being permitted a medical check-up,” Shehbaz told the court.

National Speaker Asad Qaiser has issued production orders for Shehbaz to attend a session starting from November 23 called by opposition parties.

Shehbaz will be taken to the Lahore airport and will be flown to Islamabad so he can attend the NA session starting from tomorrow.

Earlier, on November 10, Shehbaz’s physical remand was extended till November 24. On November 6, an accountability court in Islamabad had extended the PML-N president’s transit remand till November 10 to enable him to attend NA sessions.

Shehbaz misused powers as Punjab CM: NAB report

NAB accused Shehbaz of misusing his powers while being the chief minister of Punjab in an inquiry pertaining to Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC).

The inquiry conducted so far reveals sufficient evidence to prove the involvement of former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif “in the commission of offences as defined under section 9(a) and Schedule of the National Accountability Bureau 1999.

The inquiry conducted states that Shehbaz Sharif as the chief minister of Punjab had unlawfully assumed powers of Board of Directors of Punjab Land and Development Company (PLDC), misused his authority and acted in connivance with Fawad Hassan Fawad who at the time was Secretary Implementation to CM Punjab and others. Contracts awarded to M/s Ch. A Latif and sons for the development and infrastructure of Ashiana Iqbal Housing Project were illegally cancelled.

As the chief minister, Shehbaz Sharif in a meeting on October 21, 2014 unlawfully directed PLDC to entrust the project of Ashiana Iqbal Punjab to LDA. This decision of Sharif was illegal and mala fide as PLDC was the company which was established for undertaking such housing projects. Shehbaz is accused of illegally transferring this project to LDA, which was headed by his close aide Ahad Khan Cheema.

Shehbaz is also accused of working in connivance with other accused in the case and directed LDA to undertake Ashiana Iqbal Project under Public Private Partnership mode. NAB states this was done in order to give “unlawful benefit to blue-eyed firm namely M/s Bismillah Engineering Service Company, which was a proxy firm to M/s Paragon City.”

2018-11-22

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