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LAHORE: Former local government minister Aleem Khan was released from Kot Lakhpat jail on Friday following bail granted by the Lahore High Court in the case of having assets beyond means.

A number of party workers welcomed Mr Khan outside the jail and escorted him to his residence in the DHA amidst sloganeering.

Mr Khan had resigned from the minister’s slot after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) detained him and he was called to appear before the Combined Investigation Team on Feb 6.

The NAB got his physical remand from the court and kept him in its custody from Feb 7 to March 5, when he was sent to jail on judicial remand. He remained in jail for 73 days and eventually got bail. However, he was invited to the Punjab Assembly on several production orders during his days in the jail.

Aleem Khan was working on the Punjab Local Government Act and the task was later taken over by Law Minister Basharat Raja and the bill sailed through the Punjab Assembly following PM Imran Khan’s nod.

Speculations are doing the rounds about his possible induction in the cabinet, though many believe that he would not be brought back to the cabinet as he is still facing a NAB inquiry. Sources say negotiations began about the role of Aleem Khan and a decision is expected within the next 48 hours.

Speaking to the party workers, Mr Khan said he had joined hands with the prime minister to serve the public and not look for any high office. He said the prime minister wanted to create “Naya Pakistan” after eliminating the corrupt dynastic politics. He said he had fought against all odds during his over 100-day arrest and “did not fall ill”. He said he even did not seek bail before arrest.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019