ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman Imran Khan levelled corruption allegations against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif.
Speaking to the media outside an anti-terrorism court (ATC), where he was appearing for violence cases related to the 2014 sit-ins, said that the Nawaz brothers had been caught in corruption cases.
“Nawaz was caught in Panama, and the chota don Shehbaz Sharif [Shehbaz Sharif] has been caught by China’s regulatory authorities,” he said.
The PTI chairman said that Faisal Subhan, the CEO of Capital Engineering which was awarded the contract for Multan Metro bus project, confessed to the Chinese regulatory authority investigating corruption charges in the project that Shehbaz and his family received hefty kickbacks in their overseas accounts.
“Shehbaz Sharif has spent nine trillion rupees through his chosen bureaucrats like Ahad Cheema,” he said. “The real issue of Pakistan, today is, that will this mafia continue to loot the public’s money that should be spent on clean drinking water projects, health, and education?”
Imran was granted an exemption from appearing in the next hearing of violence cases related to 2014 sit-ins. Judges, Kausar Abbas and Shahrukh Arjumand were hearing four cases – attack on the state television building, Parliament and Junejo – against PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek leaders.
A notice for a permanent exemption from appearing before the court in the cases was issued to the prosection. The hearing was then adjourned until March 13.
Imran, whose exemption plea had been earlier rejected by the court on February 23, was absent as the hearing commenced early morning after assisting defence counsel Shahid Gondal appeared before the court.
He reached the court premises after a one-hour recess ordered by Judge Arjumand had ended.
Punjab govt spokesperson reacts
The spokesperson of Punjab government Malik Ahmed Khan reacted to Imran’s statement, stating that the Chinese company involved in the Multan Metro Bus project has already asked for pardon.
“Niazi Sahib cannot deny the facts,” he said. “His has not performed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The upcoming elections in 2018 will prove to be a test for Imran.”
Marriyum Aurangzeb lashes out at Imran
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz leader and State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday said that Imran was a fugitive from the ATC, yet he was granted an exemption from appearance in the next hearing.
“He [Imran] submitted a plea of exemption for the first time and the request was granted to a person who does not show up at court hearings and attacks the Parliament.”
In an apparent reference to deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the minister said that those who appear before court are not allowed to meet their ailing mother and wife.
“Verdicts like these definitely raise questions,” she said.
Imran’s legal counsel, on February 15, had submitted two pleas to the anti-terrorism court seeking acquittal and exemption from appearance. His legal counsel had pleaded the court to take up the acquittal plea before the indictment of his client
The PTI chief was issued summons on January 31. He had later appeared before the court at the last hearing. Judge Arjumand had heard the case regarding injuries sustained by SSP Asmatullah Junejo’s in an attack in the Red Zone during the PTI-led sit-in.
Imran had termed the cases ‘undemocratic,’ adding that holding a public gathering was not terrorism. The ATC judge had remarked that the cases will be handled according to law.
In August 2014, Khan and Tahirul Qadri took to streets in Islamabad against alleged rigging in 2013 general elections and Model Town sit-in. The protest had continued for 104 days.
During the sit-in, the protesters beat up SSP Asmatullah Junejo on Constitution Avenue when they attacked the Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters and the parts of the Parliament.
A case had been filed against Khan, Qadri and others for torturing SSP Junejo and five other police officers.
The PTI chief had pleaded the court to transfer the cases to civil court however the request was rejected on December 11, 2017.