LAHORE: A combined investigation team (CIT) of the National Accountability Burea grilled Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz for two hours at the NAB Complex in Thokar Niaz Beg on Friday. He has been accused of accumulating assets beyond his known means of income.
He had been summoned by NAB at 11 am on Friday, but reached after 12pm. A large number of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) activists had gathered outside the NAB office. His vehicle was stopped at the gate by NAB officials where his guards and other persons were asked to stay outside. Only Hamza and his driver were allowed to enter.
During the two hours inside, NAB questioned him over the increase of his assets from Rs20 million to over Rs410 million between 2003 and 2019. They inquired about Hamza’s source of income and his relation to arrested accused Fazal Dad.
The bureau also questioned Hmaza about the exponential increase of his assets during the tenure of his father Shehbaz Sharif as chief minister.
Hamza tried to convince the NAB team by answering the questions and sharing a few documents. However, he was reportedly unable to satisfy the investigators.
A source shared that NAB will summon him again soon, probably after April 17, which is when the pre-arrest granted to him by the Lahore High Court expires.
Meanwhile, the bureau raided the house of Fazal Dad to fetch evidence and recover a few documents. NAB also summoned former Punjab chief minister Manzoor Watoo in an illegal recruitments case on April 23.
Allegedly, he illegally granted many jobs during his tenure as CM to residents of his constituency. NAB has asked him to appear before the team at Thokar Niaz Beg.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2019.
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