N activists protest against arrest of Shahbaz Sharif

Geneva Stokes
October 8, 2018

President Shehbaz Sharif was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday in a Rs 14 billion housing scam case.

Shahbaz was arrested Friday by NAB, the anti-graft body of Pakistan, for his alleged misappropriations in Ashiana Housing Scheme in the eastern Lahore district during his two consecutive tenures as the Punjab chief minister from 2008 to 2018, an official statement said.

Also, the PML-N chairman wrote to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking its intervention against the arrest of Shehbaz, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in NA. "Shahbaz Sharif's arrest just before by-elections is unacceptable", she said. Sharif's defence lawyer rejected the NAB's assertions as "baseless".

This Saaf Pani Company was established by Shahbaz's previous Punjab government to conceive, plan, design, execute and manage projects for the provision of safe drinking water in terms of both access and quality, to communities living in rural areas of the province. They were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the arrest of party president Shahbaz Sharif. Shahbaz's close confidant Ahad Cheea and Nawaz's principal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad are already in the NAB's custody in the Ashiana housing scheme scam.

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In reply to a question about the meeting with Nawaz Sharif, he said: "Nawaz Sharif is presiding over a meeting of PML-N's Central Executive Committee on Monday (today) in Model Town to finalize a strategy". The PPP chairman said his party had no issues with accountability, but there must be no political victimisation in the name of accountability.

"Shahbaz Sharif was arrested to pave the way for the ruling party candidates to win the by-poll", said one of the speakers.

Reportedly, the NAB quizzed Shehbaz Sharif regarding a tender awarded to a private consultancy company for a survey of the Saaf Pani company. And on Sept 19, the Islamabad High Court suspended their sentences and granted them bail till the disposal of their appeals.

Previously, on october 14 Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Sharif was convicted for owning expensive properties in London.

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