LAHORE: An Accountability Court on Wednesday adjourned proceedings in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme reference till August 7.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, who is on bail, and former premier Nawaz Sharif’s principal secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad, who had become approver in the case, and other suspects, brought from jail, appeared before the court as strict security arrangements were made outside the judicial complex.
The closure of all adjacent roads by placing containers disturbed flow of traffic and free movement of the citizens as well.
“This case is wastage of time as our [PML-N’s] government had caught this fraud [related to the housing scheme],” Shehbaz said.
Contrarily, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor pleaded with the court to proceed with the case as “Shehbaz Sharif has been wasting court’s time.”
The NAB has already filed the reference against Shehbaz Sharif. In the previous hearing, Sharif’s defense counsel Amjad Pervez cross-examined witness Sidra Mansoor, and asked upon whose directives she had produced the record.
To this, she answered that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had asked her about the record.
The defense counsel further asked her whether the in-charge [of the SECP] had given her any written directives over the matter.
To which, she responded that in-charge Liaquat Ali had given her verbal directives, and the same record, which was submitted with the NAB, was presented in the court. Moreover, she said she had been included in the investigation process on May 30, 2018.
On February 18, accountability court Judge Syed Najmul Hassan had indicted ten suspects including Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing scam case.
All the accused rejected the charges. The PML-N president had sworn to the Almighty that the case against him was false and affirmed to bring facts in front of the nation.
Fawad Hassan Fawad, in his statement before the accountability watchdog, had claimed that he had awarded a contract to a “favourite firm” in the Ashiana Housing project at the behest of Shehbaz Sharif.
On October 5, 2018, the NAB had arrested Shehbaz Sharif in the scam and was charged with awarding illegal contracts to his favorite firm.
He was apprehended during his appearance before NAB in Saaf Pani Company scam. Sources told that three files were tabled before him. The bureau quizzed Sharif regarding a tender awarded to a private consultancy company for a survey of the Saaf Pani company.