Opposition stages walkout in Punjab Assembly against Ahad Cheema's promotion

The court has directed the NAB to submit case challan on March

Chief Imran Khan on Friday lashed out at bureaucracy for protesting against former Director General (DG) of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Cheema's arrest in Ashiana Housing Scheme scandal.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan has claimed of exposing "the nexus of corruption" between Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab government bureaucrats.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, NAB is all set to file four additional references against Ahad Cheema and has launched investigations into former LDA DG's offshore accounts in Turkey and Portugal.

The NAB prosecutor alleged that Ahad Cheema misused his authority as LDA's director general and awarded a contract of Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme to Lahore Casa Developers, a joint venture company, which was ineligible for the goal. NAB demanded a 15-day remand of the accused. He submitted that the contract was awarded to Lahore Casa Developers in a transparent manner whereas his client acquired the 32 Kanal land legally and same was mentioned in his declaration of assets. "If they are innocent why should they fear accountability", he said. However, the NAB authorities got offended by his client's reply and arrested him on Feb 21, he submitted.

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He pleaded with the court to declare arrest of Ahad Cheema illegal.

Describing the grounds of Cheema's arrest, NAB informed the court that the probe conducted so far revealed sufficient evidence to prove the accused's involvement in the commission of offences as defined under Section 9 (a) and Schedule of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

Separately, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq expressed concern over the way Mr Cheema was arrested, saying that the way NAB had released Mr Cheema's picture behind bars, and the way he was brought to court in an armoured personnel carrier as if he was a terrorist, was only meant to humiliate him.

Owing to the protests, government offices all over Punjab have been closed. He said this had happened before when NAB officials had started registering cases against PML-N leaders at the behest of military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

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