Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari has congratulated Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif after the latter was released from the Ministers’ Enclave in Islamabad – which had been declared a sub-jail by the capital administration.
The PPP leader termed Sharif’s release a “good omen for democracy”, adding that “it is not reasonable to keep someone in jail merely on the basis of allegations”.
The younger brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was released on Friday evening after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) received court orders regarding his release.
A day earlier, his request for bail in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases had been granted by the Lahore High Court.
Former president Zardari said “there were no political prisoners during PPP’s government”, and that the “politics of allegations ends up damaging the country”.
Zardari, who has spoken regularly in defence of the 18th Amendment, reiterated that the said part of the Constitution has “strengthened and stabilised the Constitution”.
Furthermore, he vowed to “keep on raising his voice for the supremacy of the parliament”.
Sharif was taken into custody on October 5 by the NAB Lahore in connection with the Ashiana Housing case.
The former Punjab chief minister, who is now Opposition Leader, had been charged with misuse of authority by unlawfully assuming powers of the board of directors of the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC), and awarding a contract to an ineligible proxy firm that resulted in the failure of the housing scheme.
The scam caused a loss to the public exchequer and deprived 61,000 applicants of houses.
It is also alleged that Sharif’s directive to entrust the project of a housing scheme to the Lahore Development Authority from the PLDC and intervention into affairs of the company was in violation of the Companies Ordinance, Memorandum and Article of Association and Corporate Governance Rules 2013.
The NAB had alleged that Sharif, through his unlawful acts and misuse of authority, caused a loss of Rs660mn to the exchequer, while the overall project cost rose to Rs3.39bn due to his actions.
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