An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) 13-day physical remand of senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal for alleged corruption in the Narowal Sports City project.
A day after Iqbal was arrested, he was produced before the accountability court which granted NAB physical remand till January 6. Accountability court judge Mohammed Bashir presided over the proceedings.
Speaking to the media before the hearing, Iqbal said: “I accept the punishment if I am being punished for speaking out in favour of the death sentence handed to Gen Pervez Musharraf”.
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"If I have been arrested because I fulfilled the promises I made to the people of Narowal, then I accept this punishment. If I have been arrested because I am faithful to Nawaz Sharif and PML-N, then I accept this punishment. But if they have arrested me so that I stop talking about Imran Ahmed Niazi's failed government, then this punishment is not acceptable to me. They cannot deter us with these cheap tactics," PML-N general secretary Ahsan Iqbal told the media before arriving in court. #DawnToday
“I accept the punishment if I was arrested for fulfilling my promises to the people of Narowal. But, if by arresting me they think they can stop me from speaking out against Imran Ahmed Niazi [Prime Minister Imran Khan], that is not acceptable.”
On Monday, Iqbal was arrested from the anti-corruption watchdog’s Rawalpindi office where he had appeared to record his statement in the case regarding alleged corruption in the Narowal Sports City project.
Iqbal is accused of using funds from the federal government and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for a sports city being established in Narowal — a multi-billion-rupee project.
The PML-N secretary general had earlier said he had submitted documents related to his income and expenditures to NAB Rawalpindi. The opposition leader had already replied to a questionnaire given to him by the bureau in connection with the same case.
Addressing the media outside the accountability court, PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb said: “The soldiers of Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, who are standing up for the rights of the people, are being arrested one by one”.
“They [proceedings] are being conducted without a shred of evidence. NAB itself has said that there is no evidence of any kickback or commission.
“Today when Ahsan Iqbal was presented before the court, NAB did not have any evidence against him.
“The same story, which has been circulating for the past several months, was heard again today regarding misuse of authority. A real misuse of authority is to use the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to persecute your political opponents,” she maintained.
“Iqbal fulfilled the promises made to Nawaz Sharif, the promises made to the people of Narowal. He didn’t go back on his claims like our ‘U-turn’ prime minister. PML-N is being prosecuted for fulfilling the promises made to the people,” she added.