Shahbaz complains of ‘inhuman’ treatment in custody

Published October 6, 2020
Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif waves while being escorted by officials at the Lahore High Court after his bail was rejected on Sept 28. — AP/File
Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif waves while being escorted by officials at the Lahore High Court after his bail was rejected on Sept 28. — AP/File

LAHORE: Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Monday complained to an accountability court about ‘inhumane’ treatment being meted out to him during physical custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).“I have been humiliated and subjected to cruelty during the remand despite my known medical history,” said Shahbaz narrating his grievance before presiding judge Jawadul Hassan.

The NAB produced the PML-N president before the court for hearing of the money laundering and illegal assets reference against him and his family.

He said it was a known fact that he had been suffering from a severe backache for the last 25 years.

“Initially the officials used to provide me food on a table in the detention room but now they deliberately put it on the ground so I feel pain picking it up,” Shahbaz told the court.

NAB chairman orders probe

The opposition leader further said that he was also denied help to turn a chair towards qiblah to offer prayers.

He alleged that all these acts were being done at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his adviser Mirza Shahzad Akbar. “If anything happens to me I would lodge a FIR against both of them,” he maintained before the court.

Judge Hassan expressed serious concern over the complaint by Shahbaz and warned the NAB that he would not tolerate any inhumane behaviour during the remand.

He observed that the suspect was a former chief minister of the province and the officials needed to treat him with respect.

A NAB prosecutor denied the allegations and said Shahbaz was not even kept in a lock-up but in a dispensary instead.

“If I pay a surprise visit to the lock-up it would be misconstrued as a meeting with the suspect,” the judge said and cautioned the prosecutor that he did not want to hear such complaints again.

Taking note of the complaint later in the day, NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal ordered a probe to ascertain the `factual position’. An official statement said the NAB Chairman had already given instructions to all the regional bureaus to ensure self-respect of every accused during custody as per law.

HAMZA: The jail officials also produced Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz before the court after a gap of several hearings as he tested negative for Covid-19 after 20 days of being infected.

A representative of the foreign office filed a report before the court saying the service of the arrest warrants against Nusrat Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz and Rabia Imran had not been executed at their addresses in London.

Advocate Amjad Pervez requested the court not to issue non-bailable arrest warrants of Rabia, daughter of Shahbaz, as she would join the trial proceedings.

Judge Hassan, however, turned down the request and observed that the warrants would be withdrawn after the appearance of the suspect.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Oct 13 and also issued fresh non-bailable arrest warrants for Nusrat and Suleman.

Shahbaz has been in the NAB custody since his arrest on Sept 28 after the Lahore High Court dismissed his pre-arrest bail petition as withdrawn. His first remand would also expire on Oct 13.

The police made strict security arrangements outside the judicial complex as a result commuters and pedestrians had to face a great deal of inconvenience.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2020

Opinion

A joy forever
24 Feb 2021

A joy forever

Keats’ immortal remains can be found in bookshelves everywhere.
Working children
Updated 23 Feb 2021

Working children

It is the govt's responsibility to provide food and shelter so that parents can send their children to school instead of work.

Editorial

Return of militancy
Updated 24 Feb 2021

Return of militancy

Extremism is a hydra-headed monster that needs a sustained, multifaceted approach to vanquish.
24 Feb 2021

FDI decrease

THE more permanent and non-debt-creating FDI inflows to Pakistan have shrunk by a whopping 27pc to a meagre $1.1bn ...
24 Feb 2021

Myanmar protests

THE protests against Myanmar’s Feb 1 military coup have refused to die down, with hundreds of thousands of people...
Poll storm in NA-75
Updated 23 Feb 2021

Poll storm in NA-75

The PTI and PML-N have worsened the situation by sacrificing facts at the altar of political expediency.
23 Feb 2021

Electric vehicles

THE approval of Pakistan’s first electric vehicle policy towards the end of last year has given rise to an ongoing...
23 Feb 2021

Attack on media

THE attack on the head offices of the Jang Group by charged protesters exhibits the kind of pressure that ...