LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz on Saturday released from Kot Lakhpat prison after about 20 months in jail in a reference involving money laundering.
PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz along with party legislators and workers received Hamza Shehbaz outside the prison. After being released, Hamza moved towards his residence.
The PML-N had set up different camps on the route from jail. The PML-N workers who were carrying the party flags and Hamza’s portraits celebrated their leader release.
It may be noted that the Lahore High Court had granted bail to Hamza Shehbaz with directions to submit two surety bonds of Rs one million. His release orders were issued by the accountability court’s duty judge Akmal Khan after the surety bonds deposited.
On June 11, 2019, NAB had arrested Hamza after the LHC rejected his interim bail in the Ramzan Sugar Mills and money laundering cases.
Earlier, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz claimed that the PTI legislators are looking for a “safe passage” and there is likelihood that the need for the long march may not arise, although, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) planned to hold a long march after Daska bye-election on March 18.
“Even PTI legislators were not willing to vote for the party candidates in the elections for Upper House of the parliament,” Maryam said, adding: “Selected PM Imran Khan’s poor performance has caused a dent to his vote bank.”
Talking to media at Jati Umra, the PML-N leader asked as to why the PTI was appealing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s verdict of ordering re-election in NA-75, Daska when it, as per its own claim, had nothing to hide. “The reason why you are dying to protect the officials involved in rigging in Daska bye-election is that they would disclose your names,” she alleged.
She opined the very fact that the ruling party (PTI) was challenging the ECP’s decision showed that it had manipulated the election results. On a query, she declined to comment about the compromise reached between her party (PML-N) and the PTI with respect to Senate elections in Punjab. She said the PDM candidate for the Senate elections from Islamabad Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was approaching the lawmakers for support.
She claimed that the PTI would suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of PML-N in re-election in NA-75(Daska).
Paying tribute to Hamza Shehbaz for facing politically motivated cases bravely, Maryam said just like her Hamza was also a party worker. “We both will accomplish the job assigned to us by the party,” she added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021