Court extends Shehbaz Sharif's remand till Nov 7 in Ashiana Scam

Court extends Shehbaz Sharif's remand till Nov 7 in Ashiana Scam

LAHORE: An accountability court extended physical remand of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif till November 7 in Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing scam.

Earlier, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials produced Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif before Accountability Court

Judge Syed Najamul Hassan on his expiry of 14 days remand.

NAB prosecutor pleaded with the court to grant 14-day physical remand for further investigations. He claimed that

the Ashiana's feasibility report was based on falsehood. He contended that due to illegal directions of Shehbaz Sharif, the national exchequer suffered a loss of millions of rupees. He alleged that the scheme was used to benefit a private housing society.

He also requested the court to grant transit remand of the PML-N president as the Speaker National Assembly had

issued his production orders for the session.

However, Shehbaz Sharif denied his involvement in the scam, saying that despite physical remand, the NAB had failed

to get any evidence against him. He submitted that required medical facilities were not being provided to him by the bureau despite the fact that he was a cancer patient. He submitted that his family was also not being allowed to visit him.

Shehbaz Sharif's counsel submitted that all record had been provided to the bureau and no further physical remand was required in the case.

The court after hearing arguments of both the parties reserved its decision on the remand request for a short time but later, extended the physical remand till Nov 7 and directed the authorities to produce Shehbaz on expiry of the remand term.

The court also granted 3-day transit remand of Shehbaz.

Strict security arrangements were made inside and outside the court premises at this occasion. Hamza Shehbaz was also present in the court.

It is pertinent to mention here that NAB arrested Shehbaz Sharif on Oct 5, after he appeared before a NAB combined investigation team in the Saaf Pani corruption case at the accountability watchdog's Lahore office.

Shehbaz was allegedly involved in corruption of Rs 14 billion Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme and Rs 4 billion Punjab Saaf Pani Company scams.

He had previously appeared before NAB on a couple of occasions in both the cases and recorded his statement.

Senior bureaucrat Fawad Hassan Fawad and Lahore Development Authority (LDA) former director general Ahad

Cheema and others had already been arrested in connection with the housing scam.

NAB launched an investigation into the scam in November after receiving a number of complaints in this regard.