LAHORE: On Friday, Punjab Assembly’s opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz slammed the government and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over the latter conducting a raid on his family’s Model Town residence in connection with a case against him pertaining to holding assets beyond known source of income.
Hamza Shehbaz, while addressing a press conference following the incident, said he had felt like a terrorist because of the way NAB had raided the residence.
A NAB team, earlier today conducted a raid on the 96-H house, believed to be Shehbaz Sharif’s residence, allegedly because Hamza was “not cooperating” in the assets beyond means case.
According to NAB sources the anti-graft watchdog carried out the raid because Hamza was allegedly “not cooperating” in a case of amassing assets beyond means against him.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb alleged that the NAB team had entered the residence “without any permission, warrant or prior intimation”. She said that NAB personnel had scuffled with the private security guards at the house and then carried out a search of the residence.
When asked to Punjab’s government spokesperson, Shahbaz Gill said that NAB is an autonomous institution and does not require the government’s permission to carry out any action. He rejected criticism of NAB by the opposition and claimed that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf “doesn’t believe in political victimisation”.
“The sanctity of the home was violated,” he regretted. “We are Pakistanis/ For the first time, I felt like we are terrorists, the way the raid was conducted.”
“Hamza Shahbaz is a Pakistani. Whenever i was given a notice, i would appear before NAB. I will not tell you the way they spoke to me,” he said.
“May God give the nation’s daughter’s health. My daughter was fighting for her life and Niazi sahab played politics on that as well,” he said.
In addition to the assets beyond means case, Hamza is facing an inquiry into the Ramzan Sugar Mills case. According to the NAB, Hamza and his younger brother Salman Shehbaz being directors of the sugar mills got constructed a bridge linking to their mills out of public money in Chiniot. It said an amount of Rs200 million was approved by then chief minister Shehbaz Sharif for the construction of the bridge.
Moreover, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the raid by the NAB at Shehbaz Sharif’s residence, terming it “yet another authoritarian and undemocratic move by the government.”