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Was there anything controversial about Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s arrest?

July 18, 2019
Was there anything controversial about Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s arrest?

Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s arrest over his lack of cooperation in the investigation into the LNG corruption case has disgruntled many PML-N leaders. They claimed that the bureau is being used to target the party. 

Many party leaders, such as Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ahsan Iqbal, and Shehbaz Sharif, have even raised concerns over the way he was arrested.

Shehbaz, in a press conference, said that Abbasi was arrested from a toll plaza near Thokar Niaz Baig. “NAB officials stopped his car and said that they have come to arrest him,” said the PML-N president. “Shahid Abbasi told them that he believes in the supremacy of the law and asked them to show him the arrest warrant. He said that it is his constitutional right.”

Related: Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrested by NAB

The officials first kept looking at each other as they were clueless, Shehbaz claimed. They then called another officer to the site. A NAB DG arrived at the scene and he showed Abbasi a WhatsApp message with the arrest order. Abbasi said that he will not see any message and just wants to see the arrest warrant. The NAB official then left and returned after a while. This time he brought a photocopy of the warrant with him, Shehbaz said.

Iqbal, while speaking to media after the arrest, said that the photocopy was not even attested or verified.

A copy of the arrest warrant is available with SAMAA TV too. The document, which was issued on July 16, says that it is a photocopy of the original warrant.

In a media talk, Aurangzeb had shown the document and claimed that they were just shown this photocopy for Abbasi’s arrest. “Only this document holds validity in front of the government,” she remarked.

Related: ‘Put us all in jail but we won’t stay quiet’

NAB, on the other hand, claimed that Abbasi has been arrested for being no-show at the office when he was summoned for investigation. The bureau had issued summons to him four times already.

Abbasi has been accused of handing over a tender worth Rs220 billion to a company in which he was a shareholder himself during his tenure as federal petroleum minister. His name is also on the Exit Control List.

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PML-N, NAB, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, LNG case, corruption case