2019 is concluding with some good and bad memories. However, from political point of view, this year was much crucial and important as high profile arrest of Pakistani politicians and business tycoons had stirred the country.
Here is a look back at the most high-profile arrests.
On December 11, 2018, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique from the LHC premises after the high court had dismissed their request for an extension in the pre-arrest bail in corruption cases.
NAB, while revealing grounds for their arrest stated that Khawaja brothers had started a housing project named Air Avenue – which was later on changed into Paragon City Limited. NAB has maintained that the record showed that it was an illegal housing society. The anti-graft body has accused Khawaja brothers and others of defrauding large members of society. NAB said that the accused also embezzled the illegal housing society projects funds for personal gains, adding that the accused were collecting heavy amounts despite clear directions from the Lahore Development Authority.
The national accountability Bureau on December 23 arrested former federal minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ahsan Iqbal in a case pertaining to Narowal Sports City Complex.
Iqbal is accused of using funds of the federal government and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for a sports city being established in Narowal — a multi-billion-rupee project. NAB had begun investigating the complex in July 2018. It was built at the staggering cost of over Rs3,000 million.
On August 8, the National Accountability Court (NAB) had arrested Vice President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Maryam Nawaz, in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. However Maryam was also granted bail.
Yousaf Abbas, a cousin of Maryam Nawaz Sharif was also detained by NAB. Her arrest came after Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar presenting the details of the Telegraphic Transfer of Money to Maryam said he had written to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with evidence of several telegraphic transfers (TTs) from Hill Metal Establishment (HME) in Saudi Arabia to PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz.
Hamza Shehbaz was taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on June 11 after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected his interim bail in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case and assets beyond means sources of income cases.
Hamza along with his brother Salman, is accused of embezzling Rs200 million from public funds in order to build a bridge benefiting Ramzan Sugar Mills — of which he is a director — in Chiniot. The money, according to NAB, was released by then chief minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, who is also a suspect in the case. Hamza is also accused of owning assets beyond means and is being probed by a combined investigation team from NAB.
Asif Ali Zardari/Faryal Talpur
Former president Asif Ali Zardari was cuffed in July by the anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), in a case pertaining to mega money laundering through fake bank accounts case.
Zardari is accused of setting up fake bank accounts and siphoning billions of rupees out of the country. The money, insists NAB, was acquired through kickbacks and bribes. However in December, the Pakistan People’s Party leader was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court on medical grounds.
On the other hand, National Accountability Bureau on June 14 arrested Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Faryal Talpur from Islamabad. However she also granted bail.
On July 1 Rana SanaUllah member of National assembly, Senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former Punjab Law Minister was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in connection with a drug-related case. According to the ANF, 15 kilograms of heroin was found in possession of the PML-N leader.
However, the Lahore High Court on Tuesday (Dec 24) granted bail to former Punjab law minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s senior leader, Rana Sanaullah today in a case related to drug possession.
The National Accountability Bureau has arrested Senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Khursheed Shah in an asset beyond income on September 18. The PPP leader has been arrested from Islamabad by the NAB’s joint team of Rawalpindi and Sukkur and he will be handed over to its Sukkur office which is probing the assets beyond the income case against him. He is also accused of acquiring assets worth some Rs700 million in the names of his frontmen through ill-gotten money.
An accountability court on December 17 granted bail to the PPP leader against surety bonds worth Rs5 million. On December 23, the SHC suspended Shah’s bail in the assets beyond known sources of income case.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
The NAB arrested Former Prime Minister and PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on July 18 from the Lahore Toll Plaza Motorway. He was arrested in connection with LNG import contract and LNG terminal. The bureau claimed the former government rented out a terminal of the Engro Group for 15 years at a cost of Rs27 million per day. The government, in April, placed a travel ban on him as well.
According to NAB arrest warrant, Abbasi is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9 (a) of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999. The arrest of Former Prime minister was confirmed by PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal. Iqbal told Geo News that Abbasi had been taken away by NAB officials.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail and former Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Sheikh Imran-ul-Haq were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday (August 7). However, Ismail’s bail plea was granted by the IHC on December 23.
Mohsin Dawar / Ali Wazir
Member of National Assembly (MNA) and senior leader of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Mohsin Dawar was arrested from North Waziristan tribal district and presented before an anti-terrorism court on Thursday (May 30).
PTM leader and MNA Ali Wazir was arrested on May 26 shortly after the Kharqamar clash. He was granted bail along his fellow PTM member, Dawar, on September 19, on the condition of submitting two Rs1 million surety bonds.
Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir along with nine others was booked in an attack on Army check post in North Waziristan last month. Member of National Assembly (MNA) and senior leader of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Mohsin Dawar was arrested from North Waziristan tribal district and presented before an anti-terrorism court on May 30 .
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