Shahbaz Sharif rejects Daily Mail report, condemns Abbasi’s arrest

LAHORE: Rejecting the UK-based newspaper Daily Mail report, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif said that the prime minister Imran Khan and Shahzad Akbar have to respond to his defamation case in the UK court.
Addressing a press conference along with other party leaders including Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyum Aurangzeb, Shahbaz Sharif rejected the charges reported in Daily Mail. He presented some documents before the journalists that he had nothing to do with the ERRA funds. He said that the Punjab government had received 5 million pound aid form DFID, which were spent on the projects.
“In 2005, when the earthquake hit Pakistan’s northern areas, I was in exile in the UK,” he said. “This is such a disgusting allegation that I stole money from a fund for earthquake victims and gave it to my children.”
“If I was guilty of this charge, why did you have to arrest me in Ashiana or [Ramzan Sugar Mills] case? You could have arrested me in this one.”
He said that he had filed defamation cases against Imran Khan in Pakistani courts, but he never responded to the courts’ notices. However, he added, now Imran Khan and Shahzad Akbar would not be able to avoid the courts in UK. He said that defamation case would be filed against Daily Mail, prime minister Imran Khan and Shahzad Akbar.
He strongly condemned Abbasi’s arrest by the NAB. He said that there was no accountability but the worst revenge against the PML-N in the garb of accountability.
“Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested in a crude manner; when he asked for [arrest] warrants, the NAB officials just stared at each others’ faces,” claimed Sharif. “NAB DG came himself and showed a WhatsApp message. When Khaqan asked for a warrant signed by the NAB chairman, then they got a photocopy.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruined the country’s economy in the past 10 months and the arrest was an attempt to distract the nation from the government’s performance, the former chief minister alleged.
He said that Abbasi had a “central role” in ensuring that power generated from RLNG plants in Haveli Bahadur Shah, Bhikki and Balloki was supplied to Karachi. “Apart from serving the nation, is supporting Nawaz Sharif the crime of Abbasi?”
“Opposition has to bear the brunt of this government’s incapability. Most of the people who are in NAB jails are PML-N members.”
The opposition leader lamented rupee devaluation that had led to an increase in prices of commodities accused the prime minister of “defaming the country all over the world”.
“I want to tell the NAB chairman that this is not the first time PML-N is going through this. Everyone knows what happened to us during the Musharraf era,” the PML-N president said. “We were forced into exile, Musharraf turned our house into an old people’s house. But we are still alive, we will remain here and continue to serve the people.”

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