An accountability court in Karachi on Thursday remanded Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani into the National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) custody until March 1.
Durrani, who was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) yesterday, was produced by the anti-corruption bureau before an accountability court in Karachi today.
NAB authorities had appealed the court to grant a 14-day physical remand of Sindh Assembly's speaker arguing that matter was "at the inquiry stage".
Durrani's lawyer said that his client's "house had been raided" by NAB officials. He also accused the officials of "misbehaving with the women". He informed the court that an appeal would be filed, so that Durrani could be allowed to take his medication and meet his family.
The PPP leader was brought to court in an armoured vehicle amid strict security. He was greeted by several party workers and supporters who showered the vehicle he was travelling in with rose petals. Senior party leaders, including Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah and former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, were also at court.
Durrani was arrested by NAB authorities from outside a hotel in Islamabad yesterday. According to NAB officials, the PPP leader is facing an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income as well as allegations that he had embezzled public funds.
Following his arrest on Tuesday, NAB had obtained three-day transit remand of the PPP leader. The bureau had sought seven-day transit remand, but accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir granted three-day transit remand and directed NAB to produce him before the relevant court in Karachi within three days. He was then transported to Karachi.
'PPP will challenge arrest at every platform'
Speaking to journalists earlier, Raza said that PPP will challenge Durrani's arrest at "every platform".
Ghani also lashed out against the government and said that the ongoing accountability in the country was a sham. He declared that party members were "not scared of arrests".
"We are being punished for being loyal to our country," he said and added that NAB was "created only for the PPP". He asked why Durrani was being asked to resign when the prime minister, who is facing an inquiry for sources of his party funds, was not resigning. He pointed out that Durrani was not a fugitive, yet his hotel was surrounded by NAB authorities for seven hours.
Shah also condemned Durrani's arrest and termed it "illegal". He said that PPP leaders and workers were "not afraid of arrests" but added that the party had "complete confidence in courts".
"We will fight our battle in accordance with the Constitution," he said.