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Shahbaz Sharif arrested by NAB

05 October, 2018

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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.

The Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly has been accused of corruption in the Ashiana Housing case.

He will be produced before an accountability court for remand tomorrow. He will be kept in a highly-secured lock-up inside the NAB Lahore office until his apperance in court.

"The National Accountability Bureau Lahore has arrested former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in the Ashiana company case," a press release issued by NAB Islamabad said, adding that the bureau will present him before an accountability court in Lahore on Saturday.

Shahbaz, the PML-N president, was detained by NAB officials and his car was sent away. His private staff who accompanied him as security were also sent away.
Shahbaz Sharif's vehicle returns from NAB Lahore's office.

A heavy contingent of Rangers has been posted outside NAB Lahore.

Supporters of the PML-N have started gathering outside the bureau's office. The arrest comes a little over a week ahead of the by-polls scheduled for October 14.

Naeemul Haq, a leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), said he was not aware of the facts regarding the former Punjab chief minister's reported arrest.

"I don't have the facts yet to be able to provide a response to this. All I can say is that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law,".

Shahbaz’s blue-eyed officers, Lahore Development Authority former director general Ahad Cheema and Fawad Hasan Fawad, are already in NAB custody in the Ashiana Housing case.

Fawad Hasan Fawad, former principal secretary to ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in his statement before NAB in August claimed that he had awarded a contract to a “favourite firm” in the Rs14bn Ashiana Housing project on Shahbaz's behest. A source at the time said that Fawad had also provided “incriminating evidence” against the ex-chief minister in the Ashiana Housing corruption case, making it difficult for him (Sharif) to defend himself before a combined investigation team of the NAB Lahore.

Shahbaz is also an accused in the Saaf Pani Company scam. The NAB’s Lahore office had re-summoned him in that case today.

He has previously appeared before NAB on a couple of occasions in both the cases and recorded his statement. He is accused of violating the Punjab Procurement Regularity Authority (PPRA) rules in the award of contracts in the Saaf Pani Company affairs.

In November 2017, NAB had launched a thorough probe into the affairs of the 56 public-sector companies formed by Shahbaz administration in Punjab for their alleged involvement in corruption.

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