LAHORE: Police on Thursday baton charged Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers who were gathered outside anaccountability court as party president Shehbaz Sharif was presented before it after his physical remand in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case ended today.

Shehbaz, who has been in National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody since October 5 in connection to the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case, was brought to the accountability court in Lahore by officials of the accountability watchdog.

Several PML-N workers gathered outside the court premises and chanted slogans in favour of Shehbaz when he arrived. The workers tried to break the barriers and enter the court premises after which the police baton-charged.

Security has been tightened in and around the court premises.

Speaking toGeo Pakistan,Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan said, “There are 150 to 200 workers outside the court who came today in the mood for aggression. You can see that they tried to fight with the police first and the personnel cannot allow anyone to take the law in their own hands.”

“This violence was pre-planned and everything will be calm within 30 minutes,” he added.

Shehbaz misused powers: NAB report

NAB accused Shehbaz of misusing his powers while being the chief minister of Punjab in an inquiry pertaining to Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC).

The inquiry conducted so far reveals sufficient evidence to prove the involvement of former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif “in the commission of offences as defined under section 9(a) and Schedule of the National Accountability Bureau 1999.

The inquiry conducted states that Shehbaz Sharif as the chief minister of Punjab had unlawfully assumed powers of Board of Directors of Punjab Land and Development Company (PLDC), misused his authority and acted in connivance with Fawad Hassan Fawad who at the time was Secretary Implementation to CM Punjab and others. Contracts awarded to M/s Ch. A Latif and sons for the development and infrastructure of Ashiana Iqbal Housing Project were illegally cancelled.

As the chief minister, Shehbaz Sharif in a meeting on October 21, 2014 unlawfully directed PLDC to entrust the project of Ashiana Iqbal Punjab to LDA. This decision of Sharif was illegal and mala fide as PLDC was the company which was established for undertaking such housing projects. Shehbaz is accused of illegally transferring this project to LDA, which was headed by his close aide Ahad Khan Cheema.

Shehbaz is also accused of working in connivance with other accused in the case and directed LDA to undertake Ashiana Iqbal Project under Public Private Partnership mode. NAB states this was done in order to give unlawful benefit to blue-eyed firm namely M/s Bismillah Engineering Service Company, which was a proxy firm to M/s Paragon City.

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