–PPP senior leader rejects NAB’s claim that he is involved in Rs500bn corruption
SUKKUR: An accountability court on Saturday remanded Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Khursheed Shah in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody for nine days.
Shah, who served as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly during the term of the previous government, was arrested by the bureau from Islamabad on Wednesday pertaining to an assets beyond means investigation.
During the hearing of the case, NAB officials sought a 15-day remand; however, Judge Amir Ali Mahesar granted remand for nine days. The court also permitted Shah to meet his family members and get home-cooked food while in custody.
A large number of PPP workers, including his son, MPA Syed Farukkuh Shah, his son-in-law and nephew, provincial minister Syed Owais Qadir Shah, MPA Manzoor Wasan, Sukkur Mayor Arslan Islam Shaikh, and others gathered outside the NAB court in Sukkur when officials produced Shah.
At the start of the hearing, the judge asked NAB officials to produce available evidence against the PPP leader. As the evidence was not available at the time, the judge — while suspending the hearing — gave half an hour to NAB officials to submit the evidence.
Later, he granted the remand after reviewing the evidence against Shah.
The counsel for Shah, Mukesh Kumar Karara, argued that his client was being subjected to political revenge. He said that in 2014, the same bureau had lodged a case against Shah, which had been quashed on the orders of the Sindh High Court.
The NAB counsel argued that an inquiry has been initiated against the PPP leader for allegedly having assets beyond his known sources of income. He added that Shah was arrested because he was not cooperating in investigation of the case. The counsel further said that NAB wrote multiple letters to Shah but the suspect showed a non-cooperative behaviour.
The hearing of the case will resume on October 1.
A joint team of NAB’s Rawalpindi and Sukkur offices had arrested Shah on Wednesday. The accountability court of Islamabad had on Thursday approved his transitory remand and directed NAB to produce him before the relevant court by Sept 21.
Earlier, the PPP leader was shifted to the Federal Government Services Hospital, also known as Polyclinic, after he complained of some health issues. He was discharged from the hospital in the evening and driven to the airport.
Talking to reporters at the hospital, Shah rejected the NAB claim that he was involved in Rs500 billion corruption and said that he was ready to hand over all of his wealth to the bureau if even one per cent of this amount was proved to have been given to him illegally.
The PPP leader dismissed corruption allegations against him and said he had fought against corruption throughout his life.