FIA seeks court order for arresting both PM and CM in money laundering case
Attaullah Tarar says nation’s time and money are being wasted on politically-motivated cases
June 4, 2022 12:09 PM
What could be termed an unexpected development in the money laundering case against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Hamza Shehbaz, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday sought a court order for their arrest in the case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
FIA Prosecutor Farooq Bajwa told the FIA’s Special Court that the Agency wanted to take both father and son into custody for questioning in order to determine the extent of their roles in the scam.
He, on the occasion, also presented in the court an updated report on the challan against 16 suspects in the case.
Giving his arguments on the bail petition filed by CM Hamza, his counsel Amjad Pervez Advocate said that the FIA had been dragging on the case for one-and-a-half year against his client, but without any success. “Both Shehbaz and Hamza were twice interrogated in judicial lockup, which was a bad intent on the part of the Agency officials,” he said, and added that despite the fact that statements of employees of his clients were recorded during the PTI government, the FIA failed to get anything out of that.
“They even tried to get fake testimony in support of their allegations against father and son, but they got none,” he claimed.
Amjad Advocate said that it was alleged that Shehbaz had laundered the money through Mushtaq Cheeni. “But the latter was not nominated in the case. Even his confessional statement was not attached with the challan,” he regretted.
Truth of the matter was, he went on to add, that his both clients were subjected to political victimization. “All this was done as a part of political engineering,” he alleged.
However, Special Judge Central Ijaz Hassan Awan allowed both the prime minister and the chief minister to leave the court.
Meanwhile, an accountability court (AC) Judge Naseem Ahmed Virk in Lahore, while accepting the petitions filed by Shehbaz and Hamza for permanent exemption from court appearance in a money laundering case, adjourned the hearing until June 15, 2022.
Later, talking to the media outside the court, spokesman for the Punjab government Ataullah Tarar said that the nation’s both time and money were wasted on politically motivated cases.
He said that when the PML-N government had left in 2018, the inflation rate stood at just 4 per cent.
He accused the last PTI government of wasting the state resources indiscriminately.
He further said that the provincial government had already reduced the prices of wheat flour, while now it would take steps to ensure sale of bread to the people at cheaper rates. “Now a competent team is in place, and all steps will be taken to reduce the prices of items of essential use,” he said, and added that from now on all ministers would pay for petrol from their pockets.
“We have already met the target of purchase of five million tonnes of wheat,” the Punjab government spokesman claimed.
Tarar claimed that all appointments made in Punjab by the present government were on merit.
“The PTI government, on the contrary, did nothing for the masses. Former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar had spent billions of rupees on the renovation of the Chief Minister House,” he said, alleging that the former prime minister Imran Khan had made the country ‘bankrupt’.
He said he had never seen a coward person like Imran, who had taken refuge in Peshawar.
Reporters: Shaheen Atiq and Jamaluddin Jamali