Shehbaz Sharif granted bail

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday ordered release of Shehbaz Sharif after approving his bail pleas in Ashiana Housing Scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

A division bench of the LHC headed by Justice Malik Shehzad Ahmed heard the bail applications.

The court also granted bail to  Fawad Hassan Fawad, a close aide to Nawaz Sharif,  in Ashiana Housing Scheme case and dismissed his bail plea in a case pertaining to assets beyond means.

Shehbaz Sharif’s bail was approved against surety bonds of Rs 2 million.

Following the court orders Shehbaz Sharif took to Twitter and wrote: Allah’s blessings, my mother’s prayers, my brother’s guidance, my family’s love and the strength of party workers, people of Pakistan along with a clear conscience have given me the courage to stand with conviction and righteousness.

Allegations against Shehbaz SharifThe National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been carrying out investigation into multi billion corruption cases related to Ashiana Iqbal Housing Schem and Saaf Pani projects in which Shehbaz Sharif and others are nominated.

Former Director General of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahmed Cheema, and Fawad Hassan Fawad were arrested during the course of investigation while Shehbaz Sharif was taken into custody when he came to record his statement in Saaf Pani case.

NAB had claimed that Sharif was arrested on the basis of a statement recorded by Fawad Hassan Fawad who while sitting in front of the PMLN leader told him that he had done whatever he had told him to do.

According to the NAB, Shehbaz Sharif is accused of cancelling contract of Latif and Company for Ashiana Scheme in violation of law and giving it to a proxy company of Paragon.

NAB says Sharif pressured Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) into giving contract of Ashiana Housing Scheme to LDA and then the same contract was given to PLDC inflicting loss of over 71 crore to national exchequer.

Sources in the NAB say Sharif also pressured PLDC into giving consultancy contract to MS Engineer Consultancy for Rs19.20 crore knowing that t NESPAK was prepared to undertake it for only Rs 30 million (3 crores).

Government reacts Commenting on the LHC orders

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the decision to release Shehbaz Sharif will have negative impact on the nation.

He said the release of Shehbaz Sharif was a matter of concern for the NAB and the anti-graft body should challenge the court’s decision.

The minister said the NAB should see as to why it is unable to take cases to their logical end.“NAB chairman should think why process of accountability is failing,” Fawad Chaudhry said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

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