LAHORE   -   Former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday appeared before an accountability court in connection with the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

However, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) did not produce Hamza Shehbaz, Shehbaz’s son and a co-accused in the case, saying he is on judicial remand and under interrogation in assets beyond means case. The counsel of Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly argued it was violation of court orders not to present his client in the court. The accountability court directed the anti-graft body to produce Hamza in the court in the next hearing on August 1.   During the proceedings, the former chief minister said the ruling party was defaming him by leveling baseless allegations. But, in fact, he said the ruling party was bringing a bad name to Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif strongly denied the report published in a UK newspaper Daily Mail that he had embezzled funds meant for the quake-affected people. “May Allah always keep me away from such money,” he prayed. He challenged NAB to file a case against him if it really thinks he had embezzled the money meant for those affected by the 2005 earthquake.