Evidence against us is being ‘manufactured’, says Saad Rafique

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that “evidence against them is being found after their arrests” in the railways’ losses case.

He made those comments while talking to the media after appearing before the apex court in a case pertaining to the financial losses incurred by the Pakistan Railways and further added that “evidence against us is not being found but being manufactured”.

“It is a sad tradition in Pakistan that the children of the founders of the country have had to serve jail sentences and if you love this country or speak of democracy then you have to serve the same,” he lamented.

“The government instead of running the country is running behind the opposition. Politicians instead of calling each other thieves should focus on real issues,” the PML-N leader asserted.

Earlier during the hearing, Rafique was presented in the top court when the chief justice remarked, “We do not summon Khawaja Sb so why does he appear before us? We had sought a reply from the auditor general.”

At this, Rafique’s lawyer Kamran Murtaza told the court, “The auditor general submitted a reply in Lahore.”

Following this, the top judge adjourned the case and said that the case will be heard after a week when they receive the reply.

On April 7, the chief justice of Pakistan had taken suo motu notice of alleged corruption of Rs60 billion in Pakistan Railways. The top judge had also summoned railways minister, secretary and board members along with the audit report. A week later, the apex court had ordered the complete audit of Pakistan Railways during the case hearing.

During the case’s hearing on April 28, the SC had sought a report on the losses incurred by Pakistan Railways. The report found that losses of Pakistan Railways stand at Rs 40 billion.

In its report, the audit firm had said: “It is our view that an annual loss in excess of Rs40bn is not sustainable.”

It is pertinent to mention that Rafique is currently in the physical remand of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after he was arrested along with his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique as the Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed their application seeking pre-arrest bail in the Paragon Housing Society case.

As the apex court summoned him in a personal capacity, he was brought to the court by a team of the accountability watchdog.