Lahore, Oct 5 (IANS) Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday in a Rs 14 billion housing scam case.
Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, was accused by the country’s anti-graft body of corruption in the Ashiana Housing case. The bureau said that the leader misused his authority during his tenure as Punjab province’s Chief Minister, Geo News reported.
“The NAB Lahore has arrested Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana Company case. It will produce him in an accountability court tomorrow (Saturday),” a press release said.
The body is expected to seek Sharif’s remand when he is produced before the accountability court. He will be kept in a highly-secured lock-up inside the NAB Lahore office until his appearance in court, according to Dawn online.
The bureau was also investigating Sharif in the Saaf Pani case, Paragon Housing Society scandal and Punjab Power Company corruption cases.
Supporters of the PML-N started gathering outside the NAB office after the development. The arrest came a little over a week ahead of the by-polls scheduled for October 14.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Shehbaz Sharif’s was the first of several prominent arrests which will be made. He emphasised that the process of accountability will move forward and the government has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption.
“All members of the former government involved in corruption will soon be behind bars,” Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said. “The nation will from now on keep hearing good news,” he added.
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Khursheed Shah condemned the arrest, calling it an insult to Parliament.
“The government should avoid politics of revenge and is taking such steps due to the failure of its 100-day programme,” he said.
Lahore Development Authority (LDA) former Director General Ahad Cheema and senior bureaucrat Fawad Hassan Fawad are already in NAB custody in connection with the housing scam.