Shahbaz Sharif, the President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was arrested on Monday. The arrest was carried out by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) due to a money laundering case. Following the rejection of his bail plea by the Lahore High Court, Shahbaz was arrested as soon as he stepped out of court.
A two-judge bench rejected his plea for interim bail leading to his arrest on court premises. They had been listening to the PML-N leader’s bail petition in a money laundering and assets beyond means case.
During the proceedings, the two-member bench was being headed by Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem. He listened to various detailed arguments about why Shahbaz should not be granted bail.
The prosecutor for NAB challenged the plea presented by the opposition’s lawyer. He told the court that an arrest was vital as they wanted to interrogate and question the party president regarding his involvement in the money laundering case.
Faisal Bukhari, the NAB prosecutor, also argued that all the women in Shahbaz’s family had been issued questionnaires. However, neither of them had bothered to reply to them. Additionally, he claimed that the party leader had been evasive and coy about his purchase of London flats. The latter had failed to provide any reason as to why he needed to buy them.
The NAB prosecutor also informed that Nisar Ahmed and Ali Ahmed had been in Shahbaz’s employment since the year 2009. This was back when he had been the chief minister of Punjab. Faisal Bukhari argued that the president of PLM-N used these two men to launder money.
Both men had two companies under their respective names, which they were also directors of. However, they used Ikram to sign the account and then accused him of the crimes.
On the other hand, Azam Nazir Tarar, the counsel for the opposition leader, said that Shahbaz had showed up to court when summoned. The court hearing had been scheduled after the filing of the reference. Thus, he argued that it would be pointless to make an arrest at this point.
Furthermore, Azam also questioned what purpose detainment for six months will serve when the president of the party has been regularly attending court hearings.
During the proceedings, Shahbaz had spoken up at one point. He stated that NAB would not be able to charge him with corruption or find any evidence of it, even if they took 250 years to do so. In both cases of money laundering and assets beyond means, the LHC had decided to extend the interim bail. It was postponed till the 28th of September, 2020.
Soon after the arrest was made, Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter to condemn the arrest of the president of the party. She clearly stated that the only reason why Shahbaz was arrested by NAB was because he refused to speak up against his brother. Maryam also added that the leader would not play into the hands of the people trying to use him against his brother.