LAHORE: Announcing that National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif and his son and Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz would be charged in a money laundering case against them on February 18, an Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) court handed copies of challan to the suspects.
The court also increased the duration of interim bail granted to the father-son duo and other suspects in the case. The duo is facing Rs25 billion money laundering charges. According to the prosecution of the FIA, Sharif is accused of aiding and abetting his sons Hamza and Suleman Shehbaz in accumulating more assets than their declared sources of income.
In 2019, an accountability court in Lahore declared Suleman a proclaimed offender in the case and issued fresh non-bailable arrest warrants against him.
During the proceedings, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the court it had seized Suleman’s shares amounting to Rs2 billion in 16 companies.
According to a NAB report, it also seized cash worth Rs4.1 million held in three banks accounts as well as $4,000 dollars in two different bank accounts of the suspect. In addition, it also seized 10 marlas agricultural land and pieces of land spread over 209 kanal owned by the London-based politician.
NAB alleged that assets worth Rs3.3 billion had been identified so far as illegally accumulated by two brothers and their father. It said the whole family committed massive money laundering in the name of foreign remittances and loans.
Later talking to the media outside the court, Hamza said ousting the government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government through constitutional means become a national duty now.
He said it was now up to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to decide whether to bring a no-trust move in the provincial assembly of Punjab or the National Assembly first.
He further said the government could not prove even a single accusation it leveled against him and his father who he claimed had even been given a clean chit by the authorities in the United Kingdom.
Lashing out at the government for what he called wrecking the economy, Hamza alleged Prime Minister Imran Khan had made Pakistan, a nuclear power, subservient to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He went on to add the prime minister would have to be held accountable in foreign funding and gifts cases.
“Lo and behold! Imran you will have to explain your position with respect to the accusations against you,” he said, adding Faisal Vawda, a member of your “kitchen cabinet”, had already been disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).