LAHORE - An accountability court on Saturday sent PPP leader Qasim Zia and another person on 10 days physical remand in a stock exchange business scandal.

Qasim, who is also a hockey Olympian and former president of Pakistan Hockey Federation, was arrested by NAB Lahore for defrauding public of around 80 million rupees, a spokesman of the bureau said.

He said more than 80 victims of financial fraud had approached NAB Lahore against directors of Ali Usman Securities – Qasim Zia and Muhammad Usman Saeed – and an inquiry was initiated against them in 2014.

Reacting to the arrest, PPP Punjab leaders condemned the arrest of Qasim Zia, former president of party’s Punjab chapter.

Addressing a news conference here Saturday, PPP leaders including Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, Manzoor Maneka and Mian Abdul Waheed said that the arrest of Qasim Zia by NAB last night was condemnable because he had not done any criminal act.

In a separate statement, party’s finance secretary Aurangzeb Burki termed it a political victimisation and called for an end to unfair treatment of PPP leaders.

Manzoor Wattoo said Qasim Zia was not arrested on any charges while working as head of the Pakistan Hockey Federation but was apprehended by NAB while working in a private company whose chief executive was not a government official.

He also welcomed the joining of Chaudhary Ilyas Gujjar and Ayaz Al Karim in the PPP fold who contested Provincial Assembly elections in 2013 from district Okara.

PPP president said that those who had left the PPP were regretting their decision and would continue to do so because they would not be accorded same level of respect and recognition as they were getting in the PPP.

Wattoo demanded that the Punjab government should drop the Metro Train Project of Lahore and spent Rs 165 billion on building dams in the province to save the people from the devastations of floods, adding water would be available to meet the irrigation needs of the farmers.

He maintained that the PML-N was anti-farmers government and they would not cast their votes in favour of the PML-N candidates during the forthcoming local bodies’ elections.

He pointed out that education and health sectors were symbol of neglect of the government as their capacity to provide medical facilities and education were miserable and the government was least pushed to rectify the situation.

Earlier Chaudhary Ilyas Gujjar and Ayaz Karim also spoke on the occasion and expressed their confidence in the leadership of the PPP and announced their joining the party.