PPP stalwart Khursheed Shah arrested by NAB

Updated September 18, 2019

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PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah is being taken away by NAB personnel. — DawnNewsTV/File
PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah is being taken away by NAB personnel. — DawnNewsTV/File

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday arrested senior PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah in a case regarding his alleged assets beyond means.

"NAB Sukkur has arrested Syed Khursheed Shah in the assets beyond means case," a brief handwritten statement issued by NAB Islamabad said.

He will be presented before the relevant accountability court in Sukkur for remand tomorrow, the press release added.

The PPP stalwart was arrested in a joint operation by NAB's Rawalpindi and Sukkur chapters, DawnNewsTV reported. He will remain in NAB Rawalpindi's custody tonight.

Shah was taken away by nearly 20 personnel of NAB and police during a raid at his Islamabad residence, the domestic staff at his house told DawnNewsTV.

They claimed that the NAB and police personnel had neither allowed any discussion nor let the servants take out their mobile phones before they took Shah away with them.

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has called a press conference in the wake of Shah's arrest.

Reacting to the development, PPP senior leader Sherry Rehman said Shah, an MNA, was arrested while the National Assembly session was underway without intimating the NA speaker to "further your condemnable objectives".

"On one hand we say that the law of jungle is prevailing in the world through which Kashmir is being subjected to state oppression; it appears that something similar is happening here."

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, another PPP leader, termed Shah's arrest a "very wrong step" on the part of the government.

"Had Khursheed Shah sahib run away from the country? Had he refused to attend any inquiry against him?" he questioned. He added that the arrest will harm the expression of unity that is currently required of the nation.

Multiple corruption cases against Shah are under investigation with NAB. In 2012, an accountability court had directed NAB to file a reference against him on a complaint pertaining to alleged accumulation of illegitimate assets.

In 2013, NAB had reopened two corruption cases against Shah under the directives of the Lahore High Court.

In July this year, NAB Chairman retired justice Javed Iqbal had approved nine inquiries against different personalities, including Shah.

Who is Khursheed Shah?

Born in 1952, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah hails from Sindh’s Sukkur region, which he went on to represent as an MPA and later as MNA. He studied at Sukkur’s Islamia College and obtained the degrees of MA and LLB.

He was elected to the Sindh Assembly in 1988 during which he was made a provincial minister holding a wide range of portfolios – education, import and transport being some of them. He made his way to the parliament in 1990.

Shah also served as a federal minister for education in 1993, during slain PPP leader, Benazir Bhutto's second government. In 2008, he was elected from NA-199 (Sukkur cum Shikarpur-II), PPP and became minister for labour and human resources. He was made the federal minister for religious affairs in 2010.

In 2013, he was elected from NA-199 (Sukkur-cum-Shikarpur-II), PPP and became the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

He was elected to the National Assembly once again in 2018, as he won NA-206 (Sukkur-1) and was the opposition's joint nominee for speaker's position.

Shah enjoys an influential position in the PPP and was its chief whip in the 2008-2013 National Assembly. He is considered a trouble-shooter as far as relations with other parties are concerned, mainly on account of his good connections with all political parties.