LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday extended the judicial remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique by 14 days in Paragon Housing Society scam case.
Extending their remand, the court ordered the authorities to present them on April 18.
Talking to media after appearing before the court, the Khawaja brothers lashed out at the government for its economic policies and said that in just eight months, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) government had brought the country at the verge of destruction.
Former railways minister Saad Rafique said that the government of PML-N had left billions of dollars in the exchequer but the PTI was claiming that the economy had been ruined. He observed that despite getting loans from United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other states, the government claimed that the country was heading towards bankruptcy.
He asked why Prime Minister Imran Khan continued to visit different countries with a begging bowl if the situation was not improving.
Saad said that the premier was targeting opposition, arresting its leaders and raising the slogans of corruption to cover up his incapability.
Judicial remand for Saad Rafique, brother extended till April 28
His younger brother and former health minister of Punjab, Salman Rafique also spoke on the occasion and criticized the government for non-availability of medicines in hospitals and hike in the prices of drugs.
Strict security arrangements had been made ahead of the hearing in and around the court where a large number of PML-N workers had gathered.
Both the leaders were arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from Lahore High Court (LHC) premises on December 11 when their request for an extension in pre-arrest bail in the case had been rejected.
NAB while revealing the grounds of their arrest had stated that Khawaja Saad Rafique in connivance with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique Butt, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia had started a housing project named Air Avenue. Later, the project was renamed to Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd.
NAB alleged that the accused in connivance with Nadeem Zia and Qaiser Amin Butt defrauded several members of the society and embezzled project funds for personal gains. The accused were collecting heavy amounts despite clear direction from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).
NAB further said that Saad Rafique acquired 40 kanals of land against his and his brother’s name. They, by misusing their position extended the project illegally and benefitted by selling commercial plots amounting to billions of rupees. They also allegedly committed corruption by defrauding the customers.
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