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NAB Arrests Hamza Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills and Money Laundering Cases

LAHORE: Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday after the Lahore High Court (LHC) recalled his interim bail in the Ramzan Sugar Mills and money laundering cases.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Shahid Waheed Khan heard the petitions filed by Hamza.

The arrest took place after Hamza’s lawyer withdrew the application for bail extension in the two corruption cases, following which the court recalled Hamza’s interim bail.

Following the arrest, the PML-N workers staged a protest at the GPO Chowk outside the LHC and blocked traffic.

According to NAB sources, Hamza will be presented in an accountability court on Wednesday.

PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz Sharif said Hamza was arrested to divert attention from the failure of economic survey and the budget.

To divert attention from historical failures like economic survey and budget, arrests are being made. These arrests will not save you from the anger of people, she said in a tweet.

Falling walls cannot be saved with arrests. In a government where the whole nation is in a state of arrest, the prime minister cannot save himself with the arrests of the opposition, she added. 

PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said the government is arresting opposition members to hide its incompetence.

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“These arrests are political revenge”, he said. “NAB arrested Saad Rafique and could not make any case on him. He was also taken into custody in a case like this.”

He added, “This is an incompetent government who could not make any cases.”

Before the rejection of his interim bail, Hamza said, “I told the Pakistani nation that I have not done any corruption. I have challenged NAB that if they can prove even a penny worth of corruption against me, I will leave politics.”

He further said, “The NAB chairman has ordered my arrest. It remains to be seen whether NAB will arrest me or justice will prevail. Prison is not new for me.”

Hamza, along with his father Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, was indicted in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case on April 9.

The NAB in February had filed a reference against the two, alleging that the former chief minister of Punjab misused his authority by using public funds for the construction of a bridge to facilitate the Ramzan mills, owned by his sons.

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