Shehbaz accuses NAB of ‘blackmail’, to attend Friday’s NA session


–Court grants NAB seven-day transit remand of NA Opp leader amidst his claims that interrogators are blocking his medical treatment 


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, as the opposition leader in National Assembly accused his interrogators of “blackmailing” him and hindering his medical treatment.

The former Punjab chief minister, who has been in NAB’s custody since October 5 in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam, was presented before Judge Syed Najamul Hassan on Thursday.

As the hearing went underway, Shehbaz said, “False cases were formed against me.”

“NAB officials blackmail me. I have blood cancer but I’m not being permitted a medical checkup,” Shehbaz told the court.

Insisting that he had not committed any corruption, Shehbaz told the court that NAB had not achieved anything from all the physical remands granted so far.

The NAB prosecutor objected, saying that the merit of the case was not being discussed — only the request for the transit remand.

Shehbaz also told the court that his family was not given permission to meet him this week despite the court giving an order.

“I told NAB that meeting [them] is my right, it is not some favour. But NAB did not let me meet my family,” he said.

NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua in response implied that no one had come to meet Shehbaz.

The court ordered the NAB Lahore chief to allow Shehbaz to meet his family according to the law and added that a meeting should be arranged once a week.

The court also ordered that Shehbaz’s medical checkup be conducted.

The court later approved NAB’s request for seven-day transit trial of the NA opposition leader. NA Speaker Asad Qaiser has issued production orders for Shehbaz to attend a session starting from Nov 23 called by the opposition parties.

Shehbaz was later taken to the Lahore airport and flown to Islamabad for participation in the NA session starting from Friday.

Earlier on Nov 10, Shehbaz’s physical remand was extended to November 24.

On Nov 6, an accountability court in Islamabad had extended the PML-N president’s transit remand till November 10 to allow him to attend NA sessions.

NAB has 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 his involvement 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.

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,” as stated by the accountability court in previous hearings.