The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) team in search of left Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif raided his Model Town residence after staying outside for almost two hours and then headed for Jati Umra in an attempt to arrest him on Tuesday.
The NAB team with a heavy contingent of police officers blocked media personnel and protesting party workers with a barricade.
Several party workers had also reached Shehbaz’s residence to protest against the NAB. The residence remained cordoned off completely.
A four-member team — including three women officers and led by NAB Deputy Director Chaudhry Muhammad Asghar — was at the site.
The PML-N president skipped a NAB hearing over a case of assets beyond means earlier today at 11 am. Shehbaz said he was 69 years old and a cancer survivor; therefore, the NAB’s investigative team could question him via Skype.
In his response to the anti-graft watchdog said its team could question him via Skype because he was old and did not wish to pose a risk to his health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The PML-N president said the coronavirus cases were rising and the pandemic was nearing its peak. He also referred to some of the NAB’s officers who had tested positive for the deadly respiratory illness as well.
Speaking on the developments in Lahore’s Model Town, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said the actions of police and the NAB fell under “contempt of the court”.
“I do not know where Shehbaz Sharif is,” Sanaullah stated, adding that it was strange why the NAB was in such a hurry.
Such behaviour was indicative of the “government’s confusion”, Sanaullah said.
A high court has already scheduled a hearing for the case at 11am tomorrow, he added, noting that Shehbaz would appear for that hearing.
Malik Ahmed Khan, another PML-N leader, said the anti-corruption body was showing “complete political revenge” and the government was doing so to fulfill its political goals.
“Shehbaz Sharif has always honoured the law and answered the NAB’s questions. The NAB’s actions lay bare the government’s intentions,” Khan said, adding that the anti-graft watchdog had been informed that Shehbaz and his team wished to respond to everything.
The PML-N leader further claimed the incumbent PTI-led government was engaging in such actions to hide its weaknesses in the upcoming budget.
The PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb later reached Model Town and addressed the media, saying “this was a circus and drama of NAB-Niazi nexus”.