LAHORE - Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that NAB's arrest warrant for Shehbaz Sharif before the actual hearing date showed its bad intentions.

Talking to the media at PML-N Model Town Secretariat on Wednesday, he said that such acts by national institutions make the country hollow at its core.

Shahid said that NAB Chairman is the only person that can sign an arrest warrant like this. It seemed, he said, Chairman NAB has been blackmailed to obey orders of the government.

He further said that a desperate witch-hunt was aimed at stopping the opposition leader from speaking at the budget session.

He said from Saaf Pani, Ashiyaana Scheme, Multan Metro, DFID and countless other fictitious cases, over 130 days in custody and unlimited interrogations, the government has failed to find a penny of corruption; which is why they have resorted to the oldest form of political victimisation, the asset beyond means case.

The former Prime Minister took aim at the current incumbent as well. He said “here is another proven case of asset beyond means. NAB Chairman needs to note down an address, House Number 2, Lane Number 1, Zaman Park Lahore. The NAB needs to investigate how a person of modest means, paying only 100 thousand rupees in tax, managed to build that house within his known means.”

He asserted that proofs of sugar corruption, wheat corruption, medicine import corruption, foreign funding and 23 undeclared accounts have all been presented. Despite this, if this NAB is about accountability, why have none of these proofs even mandated a serious investigation?

He said the people of Pakistan are dying by the dozens and the government's response is persecution and a witch-hunt. He said if the solution of all of Pakistan's problems is the imprisonment of PML-N leaders, then they are willing to make that sacrifice, but sadly that is not how such major challenges are overcome.

Ahsan Iqbal, also present at the presser, said the government had destroyed the country's economy and is now using coronavirus as a cover-up for those blunders.

He said the industry, exports, CPEC and domestic growth had all stopped because of the incompetence of this regime far before the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is why the government is prepping up the worst budget in the history of the country and wants to gag the opposition leader from speaking against it.”