Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Brother of ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif jailed for money laundering

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif was sent to jail on Tuesday in a money laundering case.

Shehbaz, the younger brother of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 28 after a court here rejected his bail application in the ₹ 700 crores money laundering case.

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Next day, the 69-year-old former chief minister of Punjab province was sent on a physical remand by an accountability court.

On Tuesday, an accountability court of Lahore rejected the NAB’s plea seeking further extension to his physical remand.

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Shehbaz told the court that NAB didn’t ask any questions about money laundering during his three weeks detention.

Talking to reporters, Shehbaz criticised the Imran Khan government for arresting Mohammad Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, for raising slogans in giving respect to the ballot.

Safdar was on Monday briefly arrested from his hotel room in Karachi, a day after he staged a protest at the tomb of the country’s founder and attended a joint opposition rally.

Shehbaz also termed unholy alliance of Imran Khan and NAB behind political victimisation of opposition leaders. He has been shifted to Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Nawaz Sharif, had said that Shehbaz had been arrested only because he did not leave his elder brother (Nawaz).

Prime Minister Khan recently said the Opposition leaders should be convicted in cases against them. He was complaining about delay in such cases.

Shehbaz, who has denied any wrongdoing, was arrested just ahead of the planned protests by his party – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Khan.

The political temperature is high in the country since the 11 opposition parties formed an alliance – Pakistan Democratic Movement – against the armys involvement in politics.

Nawaz Sharif, living in London since November last year after he was allowed by the courts and the government to go there for a period of eight weeks for medical treatment, has accused army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and spy agency ISI head Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for interfering in the elections of 2018 and installing Imran Khan’s “puppet government”.

The powerful Army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

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