Shahbaz Sharif attends a rally. File
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday arrested leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif in money laundering case after his bail was rejected by the Lahore High Court (LHC).
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem and Justice Farooq Haider heard the bail plea. For more than once, it had earlier extended the interim bail.
A team of the Lahore NAB was present in the court during the hearing. As the bail plea was discharged, it took Sharif into custody and took him to his office.
A large number of PML-N workers were present in the premises of the high court. They kept chanting slogans in favour of their president and against the NAB and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
After the arrest, PML-N spokeswoman Maryam Aurangzeb told reporters that Sharif’s arrest was the result of the "NAB-Niazi [Imran Khan] nexus” and it did not come as a surprise to the party.
She said that the prime minister was nervous after the recent multiparty All Parties Conference (APC) and has to put the PML-N chief behind bars. She said regardless of the persistent victimization of the opposition, the APC would go ahead with its protest campaign against the government.
Ms Aurangzeb said that by detaining Sharif the government wants to rig the forthcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and local council polls.
Earlier, Sharif’s lawyers vigorously argued before the LHC bench asserting that the PML-N chief has nothing to do with the money laundering charge. They said that the NAB has already filed a reference against Sharif and others and there was nothing to probe.
However, the NAB prosecutor opposed grant of bail and said Sharif was required for investigations in the money laundering case.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal condemned Sharif’s arrest and demanded his release forthwith. He slammed the government saying that it was responsible for the arrest.
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