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Friday Feb 15 2019

NA Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif released from sub-jail


ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif was released from sub-jail, a day after Lahore High Court granted him bail in Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

The court, while granting bail on Thursday, had issued orders for immediate release of the NA opposition leader.

Upon completion of all formalities, Shehbaz was released from the sub-jail — his residence in the Ministers' Enclave in Islamabad. Following his release, the opposition leader left for Lahore.

On January 22, Shehbaz had filed a bail plea in the LHC stating, “The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) made a case contrary to the law and arrested me. The case was made on political basis.”

“Whatever I did was in accordance with the law and Constitution. Not even an inch of official land was given to anyone and LHC should accept my bail plea,” the petition had added.

Shehbaz had also mentioned medical reasons in his petition seeking bail.

A two-member bench of the LHC, headed by Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed, had conducted hearing of the case and ordered Shehbaz to deposit surety bonds worth Rs20 million.

NAB allegations against Shehbaz

NAB had accused Shehbaz of misusing his powers while being the chief minister of Punjab in an inquiry pertaining to Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC).

The inquiry conducted so far reveals sufficient evidence to prove the involvement of former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif "in the commission of offences as defined under section 9(a) and Schedule of the National Accountability Bureau 1999", a statement issued by NAB following Shehbaz's arrest had stated.

The inquiry conducted states that Shehbaz as the chief minister of Punjab had unlawfully assumed powers of Board of Directors of Punjab Land and Development Company (PLDC), misused his authority and acted in connivance with Fawad Hassan Fawad who at the time was Secretary Implementation to CM Punjab and others. Contracts awarded to M/s Ch. A Latif and sons for the development and infrastructure of Ashiana Iqbal Housing Project were illegally cancelled.

As the chief minister, Shehbaz Sharif in a meeting on October 21, 2014 unlawfully directed PLDC to entrust the project of Ashiana Iqbal Punjab to LDA. This decision of Sharif was illegal and mala fide as PLDC was the company which was established for undertaking such housing projects. Shehbaz is accused of illegally transferring this project to LDA, which was headed by his close aide Ahad Khan Cheema.

Shehbaz is also accused of working in connivance with other accused in the case and directed LDA to undertake Ashiana Iqbal Project under Public Private Partnership mode. NAB states this was done in order to give “unlawful benefit to blue-eyed firm namely M/s Bismillah Engineering Service Company, which was a proxy firm to M/s Paragon City.”