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‘NAB asked me to become approver against Khawaja Asif’, Shehbaz tells NA

ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, speaking during the session on Wednesday, said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested him to influence by-elections.

The PML-N president claimed that the chairman NAB had already prepared arrest orders between July 5 and 6, but they were delayed ‘for mysterious reasons’.

“Is this the National Accountability Bureau or National Blackmailing Bureau,” the under-fire former CM said on the floor of the House.

The NA opposition leader claimed that NAB asked him to record testimony against Khawaja Asif and become an approver. “I replied them to control themselves,” he added.

“I later realised that people who would tell me that NAB is asking them to record testimony against Shahbaz Sharif was all true,” he stated.

He said the NAB summoned him in the ‘Saaf Company case’, where “DG informed me that you’re being arrested in Ashiana Housing scheme,” he said adding that was the painful experience. Sharif said ‘this is not Tabdeeli, this is something else.’

He accused the prime minister of being elevated on the coveted position as a result of ‘rigging’.

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Mr Sharif, escorted by a two-member team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), arrived in the federal capital from Lahore via PK-652 flight to attend the NA session. Earlier, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had issued a production order for Leader of the Opposition to attend the assembly session.

Shehbaz said NAB implemented arrest orders to influence by-elections. He questioned how could a ‘big change’ be brought about in just two months that seats lost by PML-N were again won by the same party. He asked which one of the two elections was genuine, ‘either the by-elections, or the general elections.’

Shehbaz Sharif said he told the NAB about change of alignment in the road project by Pervez Elahi government that cost the national exchequer billions of rupees. The NAB responded me that they are unaware of this happening, he claimed.

“This is the first time in history that an opposition leader was arrested without any charges in such a hasty manner,” said Shahbaz, adding he did not want to discuss the merit of the case against him. “I want to talk about the unholy alliance between PTI and NAB.”

We have been through this troubling path for a number of times in the past, he said.

‘I was told by NAB that my children have properties in China and Turkey. To which, I responded that if any such asset ownership gets proved, I will tender apology before the Parliament,” he told the House.

He went on to say that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had an unholy alliance with the National Accountability Bureau, he alleged.

“Sheikh Rashid had already said I would be arrested soon,” Shehbaz Sharif said while expressing surprise in the House.

Shehbaz said it was painful to see a daughter [Maryam Nawaz] being arrested in front of her father [Nawaz Sharif] and vice versa.

He also thanked opposition parties and leaders — in particular PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari — at the start of his address in the session being chaired by NA Speaker Asad Qaiser.

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