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‘NAB reference against Shehbaz Sharif ready’: Shahzad Akbar

Shahzad Akbar (L) and Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 16, 2020. PID

ISLAMABAD: ANational Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference is ready to be filed against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said Saturday.

“Those who are working hand in glove with Sharif in corruption stand exposed […] Eid is near and the reference against Sharif is ready,” he said while addressing a press conference alongside Information Minister Shibli Faraz.

Akbar claimed that there is a trail of the “kickbacks and commission received by the PML-N leader”, adding that Sharif will have to respond to the corruption charges. He demanded a trial of the former Punjab chief minister on a day-to-day basis.

Akbar claimed that Hamza Shabaz used to submit “cheques without mentioning names on them”.

A NAB reference is ready and Sharif will have to answer all these questions, Akbar said.

“According to EOBI data, Masroor Anwar is an employee of the Sharif group who submitted a cheque worth Rs900 million,” Akbar said, adding: “Anwar is in custody and he has given his statement.”

On May 2, Sheikh Rashid said that he “has been told” that NAB “will turn into Tarzan after Eid”.

Those who think they will remain safe will not be spared after Eid, he said in an apparent warning to detractors.

The minister said that it takes a lot of time to get the NAB Ordinance changed, adding that the PML-N will not get the amendments it is seeking.

‘Govt taking important steps’ to tackle virus

Continuing today’s press conference, the information minister said the government was taking important steps to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

Taking over the press conference, the information minister said the government was taking important steps to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

The prime ministers strategy has been clear from the first day, Faraz said.

As soon as the pandemic hit the country, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) and National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) were established to deal with it. People from all four provinces were made a part of the NCOC since PM Imran wanted to take everyones input, he said.

He added that the country was facing several challenges and the government was working according to a roadmap to deal with the pandemic.

PM announced $8 billion relief package for the masses and allocated Rs480 billion for the economy. Rs570 billion was kept to provide relief to the people and through the Ehsaas Programme Rs104 billion was distributed to 85,000 families, Faraz added.

Stressing upon the need for unity to tackle the challenge, the information minister said he regretted that the opposition parties did not give any positive suggestions in the National Assembly session for the fight against the pandemic.

“What we saw was that Shehbaz Sharif was absent[from the session], and that their speeches were the same as pressers,” Faraz said, adding: “Shehbaz not attending the session, is proof that the elite believe they dont have to come in and attend the session. Lives of the other lawmakers are not important.”

‘Akbar should reflect on his own actions’

Separately, PML-N leader Malik Ahmad Khan said that ministers were directing investigation agencies which was a violation of the law.

Addressing a press conference alongside PML-N leaders Uzma Bukhari and Attaullah Tarar, he said: “Nawaz Sharif’s crime was that he took the country out of the dark.”

He said that the PML-N would reply to the questions asked by Akbar.

Taking over the press conference, Bukhari said that before pointing fingers at others, Akbar must reflect on his own actions.

They are setting up the stage for the drama that will take place after Eid, she said, adding: Questions have already been raised on NABs performance.

Bukhari warned that old records of PM Imran could also be dug out.

Furthermore, Tarar said that Shehbaz owns a cattle farm that is registered and he pays taxes worth millions of rupees. These accusations are the governments tactics to shift attention from its performance.

Akbar accuses [the Sharif family] of corruption worth billions of rupees, but he does not take this up with courts.

Shehbaz has saved the nation billions of rupees, he said, adding: They [government] should worry about their sugar and wheat thieves.

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