LAHORE - Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz Sharif appeared before a combined investigation team of Lahore NAB on Tuesday in connection with an ongoing probe related to a case of assets–beyond-means.

The PML-N leader was summoned by the anti-corruption watchdog for investigation last week. He has been facing charges of money-laundering and misuse of public funds. A day earlier, Hamza Shehbaz appeared before the NAB investigators to respond to queries related to ‘illegal’ construction of drain to facilitate Ramazan Sugar Mills owned by Sharif family.

According to sources, Hamza Shehbaz reached NAB’s Lahore office located near Thokar Niaz Baig on Tuesday afternoon. He was grilled by investigators for more than two hours before he was allowed to go back. Last week, the Lahore High Court had granted pre-arrest bail to Hamza and barred Lahore NAB from arresting him. The NAB teams also raided his residence to arrest him but the officers left back after Hamza Shehbaz was granted interim relief by the court.

Dozens of PML-N workers gathered outside the NAB office and chanted slogans in favour their leader as Hamza reached there in a convoy of SUVs.

PML-N leader says PM Imran Khan will have to tender apology if corruption, money laundering cases against his family not proved

Talking to reporters after leaving the bureau, Hamza said Prime Minister Imran Khan will have to tender apology if corruption and money laundering cases against his family were not proved. He said the PM fooled the nation by using a container.

He also criticised Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Shahzad Akbar for spreading disinformation. He said Fawad and Shahzad had been accusing his family of Rs 85billion money laundering while the interior ministry claimed the laundered money was up to Rs 33billion. “But today, during my hearing at NAB, I was told that the matter was just of Rs 12 crore that was remitted to my accounts from abroad in August 2005.”

Hamza claimed that he was not public office-holder at that time and he was under detention by Gen retired Pervez Musharraf regime along with cancer patient father while his all brothers and sisters were out of the country and he was unable to do anything illegal. He said during that time NAB had seized Rs 12 crore from him which was later recovered on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“Why the cases were ignored against the person who misused official helicopter and why that accused held meetings with NAB officials and under what capacity, and why my sisters and mother were sent notices but billions of rupees assets of Aleema Khan were ignored,” he questioned.

The PML-N leader further asked why NAB could not see corruption in Peshawar Metro Bus but the agency was pursuing cases against opposition parties only including Sharif family, Khaqan Abbasi, Saad Rafiq and Bilawal Bhutto. He said it was a sign of doomsday that disqualified Jahangir Tareen who committed corruption worth billions of rupees in the name of gardeners and peasants was lecturing the nation on justice and accountability.

“Is this New Pakistan that Imran Khan had promised to the nation,” he questioned. Hamza said Imran government had obtained Rs 3,300billon loans during the last eight-month rule and had been committing economic murder of poor citizens by increasing prices of essential commodities and utilities.

On top of it, he said, the government had signed IMF agreement for huge foreign loans but still claiming that it would not bring price hike for the masses already committing suicides due to poverty.

Hamza alleged that Niazi government was victimizing Sharif family and sending NAB notices only to divert public attention from its own failures. He warned that Imran Khan would have to fulfill promises made to masses. He said the PTI government must provide 10 million jobs and five million houses to the people, besides bringing back 300 billion dollars from abroad. He alleged that Imran had done no service to poor masses since patients were dying due to costly treatment and medicines at hospitals.

Hamza said Imran was running away from courts to answer reply of his false accusations against Shehbaz. He said Imran had been a liar and would completely be exposed before the nation very soon. Hamza also said that present government’s incompetence could be judged from the fact that entire bureaucracy of Shehbaz government had been re-appointed in Punjab after eight months.