ISLAMABAD  -   Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has hinted at more arrests following the arresgt of Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

Giving his reaction, the federal minister said, "Shehbaz Sharif's arrest was the first, and more 'major' arrests are also expected in the coming days. PTI government has zero tolerance policy against corruption. The process of accountability will move further," he added.

Fawad Chaudhry said "NAB arrested Shehbaz Sharif in the case registered in their government’s tenure. There were allegations of over Rs 56 billion embezzlement in the Ashiyana Housing Scheme and the anti-graft body arrested PML-N president over these charges."

The government is completely impartial in all such matters; however, NAB will be provided whatever assistance it needs. "NAB is an independent body and the government does not control it," the minister maintained.

Earlier speaking to media persons in Khewra, Fawad Hussain said the government was totally impartial and had nothing to do with the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The government was, however, providing all the required support to the Bureau in its actions against the corrupt, the minister said.

Fawad said, "We represent the people of Pakistan and want those, who have looted the national wealth, to be brought to justice."

NAB, he said, had initiated an inquiry into Rs 56 billion alleged corruption in the Ashiyana Housing Scheme and other schemes launched during the previous government, which even continued during the interim set-up. The case had now entered the investigation stage as NAB had traced massive corruption in the schemes, the minister added.

Fawad said the government would provide full support to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other institutions to root out the menace of corruption from the country.

Later, the minister inaugurated ICIP generators to supply water to the Khewra city.



Later in a tweet, Fawad said only wish of opposition is prime minister should have intervened to stop Shehbaz Sharif's arrest and should have influenced investigation only to maintain politics as usual.

He said, “Prime Minister will not do that, let the law takes it course,” he added.

In a TV interview in the evening, Fawad said the people wanted across the board accountability of all the corrupt elements. He said the NAB was an independent institution and the government had no influence over it. The country would make progress with a transparent system of accountability, he added.

The minister said there was no role of any minister or government official in the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif by the NAB authorities. He made it clear that he never talked about the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif.

He said probe into the Ashiana Housing Scheme scam was not initiated during the PTI government as the scandal had surfaced during the PML-N's own government and the Bureau continued the investigations even during the interim set-up.

To a question, he said it was strange that transactions of billions of rupees were being done in the accounts of cooks and drivers.

To another question, he said NAB would decide about placing the names of PML-N leaders Saad Rafique and Salman Rafique on the Exit Control List. The government was bound to implement NAB's decision in that regard, he added.

To another query, Fawad said the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI), government was well aware of the country's economic condition and was taking measures to provide conducive environment to businessmen for making investment.

"We have had an agreement with Saudi Arabia, which is taking keen interest to investment in various sectors," he added.


Fawad hints at more arrests