Pakistan will never allow Shehbaz Sharif to leave country: Imran Khan govt

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Islamabad: Hitting out at opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, accused in money laundering and assets beyond means cases, several federal ministers said that the Pakistan government would never allow him to leave the country.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Monday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry along with adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar vowed that Imran Khan-led government would never allow Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif to leave the country and appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed to allow live coverage of high-profile corruption cases being faced by the opposition leaders.

“Shehbaz Sharif should not try to escape to London and give answers about his corruption in the courts as we will not let his escape abroad,” said Shahzad Akbar said.

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Negating Shehbaz Sharif’s claim that he was harassed and humiliated by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) officers who were probing Rs 25 billion corruption scam against the opposition leader, Prime Minister’s adviser said: “Rather Hamza Sharif, son of Shehbaz Sharif, has threatened FIA officials with dire consequences. Some of the properties of former rulers were exposed through the Panama Papers scandal, and many more are yet to be unearthed,” he added.

Fawad Chaudhry said Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif had at a press conference on Monday played up electricity and gas issues instead of explaining his position with regard to allegations of corruption against him.

“Shehbaz should answer queries about laundering of Rs 25 billion abroad on forged documents, but he narrates he built Metro bus service in Punjab. When he is asked that his sons have transferred billions of rupees abroad, he says he worked on water supply schemes. When Shehbaz is questioned about billions of rupees transferred to his accounts, he says he served the Punjab province,” he added.

The information minister said the opposition leaders during haring of their cases in courts gave statements contrary to what they stated at press conferences outside.

The News International reported that the allegations from the opposition leader against the investigating agency came during a hearing at a Lahore court where he appeared in relation to his bail application.

“The FIA team treated me inappropriately and the officers used to engage in pointless conversations. When I asked why they were doing this, the officers kept laughing and making fun of me,” he said.

Meanwhile, a banking crimes court extended the interim bail of Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz till August 2 in a Rs 25 billion alleged money laundering investigation against the father-son duo.

Both appeared before the court of duty judge Syed Ali Abbas.

The investigation officer informed the court that the agency had been collecting the record and the process would complete soon.

Counsel for Shehbaz family Amjad Parvez argued before the court that his clients had submitted their answers to the Federal Investigation Agency, The News International reported