Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog on Tuesday arrested Hamza Shahbaz, the son of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected his interim bail in two cases regarding money laundering and holding assets beyond means.
A two-member bench heard petitions of the Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly as he appeared before the LHC following the expiration of his interim bail, Geo News reported.
During the hearing, National Accountability Bureau’s Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzeb Bharwana told the court that Hamza Shahbaz’s assets were not according to his income and that the PML-N leader and his family were involved in money laundering.
The court after hearing NAB’s arguments rejected Hamza Shahbaz’s plea for the extension of his interim bail.
Prior to his arrest, while speaking to the media, Hamza Shahbaz said that not even a “one rupee” corruption could be proven against him. “I will quit politics if it is proven that I was involved in corrupt practices,” he said.
His arrest comes hours before the budget for fiscal year 2019-20 is due to be presented in the National Assembly.
Former President and Pakistan Peoples Party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari was detained by the NAB in a fake bank accounts case on Monday.
Hamza Shahbaz and his father Shehbaz Sharif were indicted in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case on April 9.
In February, NAB had filed a reference against the two alleging that Shehbaz Sharif, the former Chief Minister of Punjab province, misused his authority by using public funds for the construction of a bridge to facilitate the Ramzan mills owned by his sons.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said Hamza Shahbaz was arrested to divert attention from the failure on the economic front.