Tag Archives: PML-N

NAB freezes assets of Shehbaz Sharif and his family

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday ordered to freeze assets of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his family members in a case pertaining to assets beyond known sources of income, a private TV channel reported.

In separate letters written to various departments including excise and taxation, revenue and district governments, the NAB has ordered that all moveable and immoveable assets belonging to Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and his family members should be frozen with immediate effect. The anti-graft watchdog has also banned sale, purchase and transfer of all properties belonging to former Punjab chief minister and his family members including Hamza Shehbaz, Sulaiman Shehbaz, Nusrat Shehbaz and Tehmina Durrani.

The letters have been sent to deputy commissioners (DCs) of Haripur and Model Town, and director generals of excise department, Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore Development Authority (LDA), SECP, Judicial Housing Authority and JDA.

The frozen assets include three properties belonging to Tehmina Durrani in Hairpur’s Pir Sohawa tourist resort; two Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs owned by Shehbaz; two plots (87 and 96) in Model Town’s block-H owned by Nusrat Shehbaz; two plots belonging to Tehmina Durrani in DHA Lahore’s Phase-V; 14 properties belonging to Hamza and Sulaiman; Shehbaz family’s trading assets in Ramzan Sugar Mills, European-Asian Trading Co, Madina Trading, Sharif Feed Mills, Madina Construction Co, Sharif Poultry Farm, Sharif Dairy Farm, Ramzan Energy, Sharif Milk Products, Crystal Plastics, Chiniot Power, Ag Energy Consultants, Al-Arabia Sugar Mills and Unitas Power.

NAB on October 5, 2018, had arrested Shehbaz in connection with the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case. However, it also initiated another inquiry against him for allegedly owning assets beyond known sources of income. During investigation into the case, the NAB arrested few suspects, including Shehbaz’s son, Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz. Some suspects revealed that they had been doing the job for Sharif family. Later on, NAB arrested one Mushtaq Chini, who later became an approver against Shehbaz. NAB had also sent questionnaires to Shehbaz’s wives, daughters and other family members, seeking details about assets, businesses and properties. However, now NAB has decided to freeze the assets as Shehbaz and his family members could not satisfy the investigation team.

The Daily Mail, UK accuses Shehbaz Sharif of stealing Aid money

UK’s Daily Mail on Sunday has accused former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif of embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money from aid given by Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) and laundering it in the United Kingdom.

The report says DFID poured more than £500 million of UK taxpayers’ money into Punjab in the form of aid during Shehbaz’s tenure as chief minister. “Legal documents allege that Shahbaz’s son-in-law received about £1 million from the fund established to rebuild the lives of earthquake victims,” the newspaper reported. “Stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then allegedly transferred to Shahbaz’s family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC,” it added. “Britain’s National Crime Agency is working closely with Pakistani investigators and Home Secretary Sajid Javid is discussing the possible extradition of members of Shahbaz’s family who have taken refuge in London,” it added.

“Yet, say investigators, all the time that DFID was heaping him and his government with praise and taxpayers’ cash, Shehbaz and his family were embezzling tens of millions of pounds of public money and laundering it in Britain,” writes reporter David Rose. “They are convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from DFID-funded aid projects,” the report says.

The report states that the newspaper was last week given exclusive access to some of the results of a high-level probe ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan and also allowed to interview key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood. Mehmood, according to the report, claims he laundered millions on behalf of Shehbaz’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif vowed to sue the British newspaper for publishing ‘fabricated’ and ‘misleading’ story. Taking to the microblogging site, Twitter, on Sunday, the leader of the opposition in National Assembly alleged that the story was published at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his special assistant on accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar. “Have decided to file law suit against Daily Mail. The fabricated and misleading story was published at the behest of Imran Khan and Shahzad Akbar. We will also launch legal proceedings against them. Btw IK has yet to respond to three such cases I filed against him for defamation,” he posted on his Twitter handle.

The response comes minutes after PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, while addressing a news conference, refuted the controversial story, saying the party will take legal action against the prime minister, his special assistant and British publication. The PML president said that he will also launch legal proceedings against the prime minister and his assistant. “IK [Imran Khan] has yet to respond to three such cases I filed against him for defamation,” he said.

Why has PML-N yet not presented the court with their “undeniable proof”?: Aitzaz Ahsan

Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and senior advocate of the Supreme Court on tuesday wondered that why hasn’t PML-N still not approached the court with their strong evidence that can set their supreme leader Nawaz free from incarceration.

Ahsan noted that the accountability judge Arshad Malik agreed that the meeting did take place but he also added that there is “cutting and rendering” of the tape and has marked the tape “tempered”.

Ahsan expressed the view that in the press conference held by the party to bring the tape to the fore, Khawaja Haris, Sharif’s lead counsel, should have been sitting alongside the other members and should have declared that the party shall be submitting the tape to the court the very next day, along with a request to have it forensically examined and to expediently release Sharif from jail custody.

“For that, the person who recorded the audio will have to appear before the court and provide a testimony under oath. Similarly, the person who recorded the video will have to appear and also give a testimony under oath. A third person who cannot be identified, and whose arms and legs alone can be seen in the video, will have to appear as well”.

Ahsan added that any photographic evidence that is submitted in the court is not admissible until or unless the the photographer or videographer gives a testimony under oath that the evidence was surely taken by him and if the person doesn’t appear then, the evidence is of zero value.

He, however, also pointed out that the urgency should come from the PML-N’s side to see Sharif freed as soon as possible.

“They should say, ‘We have genuine evidence. We have that smoking gun with which the murder was committed.'”

“They should rush it to the courts and insist that the matter be pursued immediately. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal should delay this no further. And neither should Shehbaz Sharif, if he wishes to see his brother and ‘quaid’ released. He should, in fact, go to court himself.”

“Why should he wait for a suo motu?” Ahsan remarked.

When asked what reason could there be behind the party’s inaction to approach the court, the PPP leader said: “Then releasing the tape is just a political thing. The matter pertains to the court. Then,it is just the courts getting maligned. The judicial process, the legal process, and their image have all been severely tarnished.”

He said that rather than the courts “attempting to clear their name”, as proposed by the anchor, the PML-N should be impatient to do something.

“They have such an important piece of evidence in the case against Nawaz Sharif — if it is untampered. It is so important that they should be running to the court with it and pleading: ‘For God’s sake, release Nawaz Sharif today.'”

“And the court may very well, the next day, call in witnesses: Nasir Butt, person behind the camera, the one who did the editing, the streaming, etc,” he surmised.

As PML-N rally starts to move in Mandi Bahauddin, Police arrest party leaders and workers.

MANDI BAHAUDDIN : The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) aims to flex its muscles today in Mandi Bahauddin by organising a public gathering at the Quaid-e-Azam Stadium; however conflict has aggravated as the district administration has refused to grant permission of holding the rally ‘due to security concerns.’

Meanwhile, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz has announced to hold a rally in Mandi Bahauddin under any circumstances.

The party’s spokesperson, Marriyum Aurangzeb has stated Maryam Nawaz will depart from Jati Umra at 3pm.

“The loins of the PML-N will fail every conspiracy of the oppressive government,” she said.

Contrarily, the district administration locked down the entry gates of the stadium and deployed heavy contingents of police.
Last night, police raided the places of local leaders and workers of the PML-N, and detained dozens of them.

District Police Officer (DPO) of Mandi Bahauddin has claimed that the permission of holding a rally could not be granted due to security reasons.

On Sunday morning, the PML-N vice-president took to Twitter, and interpreted the arrests of party workers as the fear of rulers by stating: “Fear always hounds the ruler.”

She used the word “poor” for those who are afraid.

Maryam also shared screenshots of private channel regarding the crackdown on the party workers.

Clearly, she hinted at the incumbent government while commenting on the crackdown of police on the PML-N workers ahead of the planned rally in Mandi Bahauddin.

Judge Arshad calls out Maryam Nawaz’s video “fake and assumptive”

 

Accountability court judge Arshad Malik on Sunday hit back at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, calling the so-called video evidence presented by her at a press conference a day earlier ‘fake and assumptive’.

Arshad Malik says he was repeatedly offered bribes by Sharif family representatives and also given threats of serious consequences if he did not cooperate.

 

“The videos shown during the press conference are fake and based on lies and assumptions,” the judge said in a press release issued by his office, a day after Maryam Nawaz opened a Pandora’s box with a startling claim that the accountability court judge had confessed that he had been ‘pressurised and blackmailed’ to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference.

In the press statement, Judge Arshad Malik rejected Maryam Nawaz’s allegations that he had convicted Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference under ‘immense pressure from hidden hands’, saying that the former prime minister was convicted on the basis of evidence. “I have seen the press conference as well as the video attributed to me. Serious allegations have been levelled against me under a conspiracy to damage my credibility as well as that of my institution and my family. Therefore, I want to clarify the facts,” he said in the press release.

“I am a resident of Rawalpindi where, before being appointed as a judge, I would work as a lawyer. The individual shown in the video, Nasir Butt, is also from the same city and an old acquaintance. Nasir Butt and his brother Abdullah Butt have met me many a time at several occasions,” the judge said. “The video shown in Maryam Safdar sahiba’s press conference is not only contrary to the facts but it is also a despicable attempt to mesh together various instances and topics spoken about, and to present them out of context,” he added.

“After Maryam Safdar sahiba’s press conference, it has become necessary that the truth be brought forward,” the judge continued. “During the hearing of the cases against Nawaz Sharif and his family, I was repeatedly offered bribes by their representatives and also given threats of serious consequences if I did not cooperate,” he alleged. “I decided to stay committed to the truth and left my life and wealth in the hands of God,” he maintained. “Had I announced the verdict under pressure or over greed of bribes, I would not have acquitted him Nawaz Sharif in one case and convicted him in the other,” he said.

“While dispensing justice, I announced conviction of Nawaz Sharif on the basis of evidence in the Al-Azizia case and acquitted him in the Flagship case,” the judge said. “I also want to make it clear that indirectly or directly, neither was there any pressure on me nor was there any greed,” he went on to say. “I made these decisions knowing that God is omnipresent and on the basis of the law and the facts,” he added.

“This press conference was held merely to make my decisions controversial and to gain political advantages,” the judge stressed. “The videos shown during the press conference are fake and based on lies and assumptions. Therefore, legal action should be taken against those individuals involved in this,” he added.

On Dec 4, 2018, Judge Arshad Malik had handed the ousted prime minister seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, but on the same day acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments, saying there was no case against him.

Addressing a press conference in Model Town along with entire senior party leadership, including her uncle and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam had on Saturday claimed that judge Arshad Malik had given verdict under immense pressure while awarding seven-year imprisonment to Nawaz Sharif in the Al Azizia Steel Mill reference. She had also played a video recording of judge Arshad Malik and PML-N worker Nasir Butt in which the judge purportedly claimed that he was under immense pressure to give the verdict against Nawaz Sharif.

“The accountability court judge told PML-N’s Nasir Butt that he feels guilt after giving verdict against Nawaz and that he is having nightmares these days,” Maryam had said while referring to judge Arshad Malik. She had also quoted the judge as saying in the video clip that not even a single allegation of financial corruption, kickback or embezzlement was proved against Nawaz Sharif. “The judge told Nasir Butt that the cases have already been decided and that he is facing pressure to follow the guidelines only,” she had claimed