LAHORE: Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz lambasted that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders were being arrested before every election, which was beyond understanding.
Hamza said so while addressing a press conference in Lahore after the arrest of his father and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif.
He said that his father was accused of cancelling [Ashiana Iqbal housing scheme] contract awarded to Lateef & Sons, despite the fact that it was cancelled by Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) board of governors on the basis of its findings.
The PML-N leader elaborated that the contractor, Chaudhry Lateef, was accused of irregularities in Orange Line and other projects, adding that he had entered into plea bargain with NAB.
He said that Lateef was still absconding in a corruption case, lamenting that the contractor was still awarded contract of Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
Hamza dared Prime Minister Imran Khan to go on with the arrest spree “in connivance with the NAB.”
“Niazi sahib, arrest as many people as you can in connivance with the NAB. These tactics are not new for the PML-N,” he said at the press conference.
The PML-N leader said that his Shehbaz’s arrest ahead of by-election was an expression of his PM Khan’s unease for his “crippled government is hanging in the air.”
‘Effort to influence by-polls’
Prior to Hamza, Marriyum Aurangzeb said Shehbaz Sharif was summoned in connection with Punjab Saaf Pani Company case, but the NAB arrested him in Ashiana Iqbal housing scheme case.
She noted that the former Shehbaz government in Punjab had itself pointed out corruption in Ashiana case.
“Arresting the PML-N president only 10 days ahead of by-elections in the country is an effort to influence the by-polls,” the party leader said, while speaking to media.
She maintained that her party was being victimised on the pretext of accountability.
“Neither a minus-one could take place, nor the PML-N split, which is why these steps are being taken,” Marriyum contended.
She further said the party leaders were gathering in Lahore to finalise a future strategy.