Nawaz meets Shehbaz at NAB office in Lahore

Charlene Craig
October 8, 2018

The former Punjab Chief Minister, who was taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) a day earlier, was produced before the accountability court while the watchdog sought his custody in a "campaign against corruption".

A leader of opposition political party Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and a brother of Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif was found guilty in connection with Rs 1,400 crore housing scam by the anti-corruption court on Saturday.

He was detained by NAB officials and his vehicle was sent away.

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

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Supporters of the PML-N started gathering outside the NAB office after the development. They deliberated the PML-N president's arrest and available legal recourse to secure his release ahead of the Oct 14 by-elections.

Shahbaz is accused of ordering the cancellation of a contract given to successful bidder Chaudhry Latif and Sons for the Ashiana Housing Scheme, and engineering the subsequent award of the contract to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City Private Limited, resulting in a loss of Rs193 million to the exchequer. He has fled to the United Kingdom and the NAB has written to the interior ministry to bring him back from overseas through Interpol.

Shehbaz, also head of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party, is accused of granting illegal contracts to his favorites for the construction of low-priced houses for the poor and middle-class in Punjab - the country's political power base, and a stronghold of the PML (N).

"Shahbaz Sharif saved billions in mega-projects".

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He is the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

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

"Shahbaz Sharif on Friday appeared before an investigation team of the National Accountability Bureau Lahore", bureau spokesperson Nawazish Ali Asim told PTI. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned his brother's arrest as "ridiculous and state victimization". "We are assessing the situation and consulting party leadership to prepare astrategy for a future course of action", said Malik Ahmed Khan, spokesman from Sharif's PML-N party.

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