Pakistan's anti-corruption body arrests Shahbaz Sharif in housing scam

NAB DG Irfan Naeem Mangi was one of the six members of the Panamagate joint investigation team. ─ File

Sharif is the younger brother of former ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court a year ago over corruption allegations.

If that happens, it would mean he would be unable to take part in nationwide by-elections on October 14 involving 30 parliamentary seats following July's general election.

Shehbaz's elder Nawaz Sharif has already been disqualified for life, and given a 10-year jail term in a corruption case.

However, the PML-N leaders now claim that due to the "sudden arrest" of his younger brother and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, the elder Sharif has been forced to jump into the political arena in order to boost the morale of the party workers. "Shahbaz Sharif being the chief minister had set great examples of transparency and honesty in all projects".

The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, was arrested when he appeared before NAB to record his statement in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company case.

More news: Petrol, diesel cheaper by Rs 5 in Maharashtra and Gujarat

Earlier, hundreds of angry PML-N supporters created a ruckus in the premises of the court in Lahore and stopped the armoured vehicle of the police in which Shehbaz Sharif was brought to the court. "He was arrested after he failed to satisfy the investigator for his alleged role in awarding contracts to his favourite firm in violations of rules in the Ashiana Housing scheme and Punjab Saaf Pani Company".

PML-N Spokesperson, Marriyum Aurangzeb says arrest of Shahbaz Sharif by NAB is an act of political vengeance. They were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the arrest of party president Shahbaz Sharif.

The Ashiana Housing Scheme was launched by the Punjab government in 2010. Mr. Nawaz was released from prison last month, pending an appeal against his conviction. Shehbaz Sharif is being probed in other corruption cases as well.

They criticised the PTI government for harassing and arresting PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and opposition leader in the National Assembly ahead of the upcoming by-election.

The Panama Papers case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in the 1990s when he twice served as Pakistan's prime minister to purchase assets in London.

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