Former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with the Ashiana Housing Scheme case on Friday. Below are reactions from politicians and analysts over the arrest of the PML-N president and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly.
Information minister says government is neutral
One of the first reactions to the arrest came from Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry who said the government was neutral and NAB was an independent institution.
“The government is neutral in this entire matter but we want accountability for those people who have robbed the country. This is an important step towards that accountability,” Chaudhry told reporters.
Chaudhry said others involved in big cases should also be arrested.
The minister said that these cases were initiated by NAB during the tenure of the PML-N government and then continued. He informed reporters that according to NAB law, there was an inquiry first, followed by an investigation and then a reference was filed.
“NAB has now converted these cases into an investigation. NAB has seen that there is potential in the cases and major corruption has taken place,” the minister said
Chaudhry added that corruption amounting to Rs56 billion is alleged to have taken place in Ashiana and other cases.
Shah condemns, Bilawal refrains from commenting
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah condemned the way in which Shehbaz Sharif was arrested, calling it an insult to Parliament.
“The government should avoid politics of revenge and is taking such steps due to the failure of its 100-day programme, ”Shah said.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari during a news conference was asked about the arrest but did not comment.
“I wouldn’t want to comment without reading the case and want to leave it at that.”