Maryam’s NAB appearance postponed as chaos ensues outside bureau’s office

LAHORE : Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-president Maryam Nawaz went back after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) postponed her hearing in a case pertaining to illegal transfer of 180 acres of land in Raiwind. A clash had erupted between outraged PML-N workers and police as Maryam Nawaz reached at the NAB office on Tuesday in a case pertaining to illegal transfer of 180 acres of land in Raiwind. According to officials, PML-N workers – who accompanied Maryam Nawaz from Jati Umrah to the NAB office in a convoy – pelted stones at police officials and tried to break the barriers outside the anti-corruption watchdog’s office. More than 15 policemen and NAB officials sustained injuries as a result of stone-pelting. In retaliation, the police resorting to aerial firing, shelling and baton charge to disperse the infuriated crowd. Several protesters including women were arrested.  Around 50 PML-N activists have been taken under arrest over their involvement in the clash. Keeping in view the law and order situation, the corruption watchdog cancelled Maryam Nawaz’s appearance. Gates of the NAB office were closed. NAB has said that it has postponed the PML-N leader’s hearing has been postponed due to the situation outside its office. “For the first time in 20 years, [a] national and constitutional institute has been dealt with like this,” said NAB in a statement. The bureau also said that the PML-N leader was summoned in her “personal capacity” to record her statement. It added that PML-N workers were “used” under an “organised plan”. However, the PML-N leader initially refused to turn back and insisted on appearing before the bureau today but later she relented and returned home. NAB is investigating Maryam in a case pertaining to the illegal transfer of a 200-acre land in Raiwind.The PML-N leader also came out to address her workers present outside the NAB office. Maryam Nawaz said she will not return as wrong allegations have been leveled against her. “I am standing here. If you have summoned me then listen to my answers,” said Maryam. She added that she will not leave as she has come to respond to the “fake allegations” against her. “Police threw stones at my car which broke its screen. I am here to give answers to the NAB questions. Why did you summon me if you are so scared? Now have some courage to listen to me,” the PML-N vice-president said. The PML-N leader on her Twitter account shared a video of policemen pelting stones at her vehicle outside the NAB office. She also said that she condemns the police’s stone throwing, shelling and baton charge on the “peaceful” workers. “Police attacking my car. Imagine if it were not a bullet proof vehicle. Shame,” tweeted Maryam Nawaz with a video of police pelting stones at her convoy. In a separate video showing the damaged windshield, Maryam said that the police was firing teargas at her convoy. She added that police were pelting stones and shelling outside NAB’s office to disperse the PML-N workers who had gathered outside. “If you are so afraid of PML-N, if you are so afraid of Nawaz Sharif, if you are so afraid of Maryam Nawaz, then why do you summon Maryam Nawaz? If there is so much fear then why do you summon [me]?,” Maryam said in the video. In another tweet, the PML-N leader also condemned the police “actions” against the “peaceful” protesters that had gathered outside NAB’s office in support of her. PML-N leaders and activists had planned to receive their leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif outside the NAB office after the PML-N Lahore president started motivating activists and workers to set up reception camps on every route leading to the NAB office. Marriyum Aurangzeb, the spokesperson of the PML-N, denied that the attack was initiated by the PML-N supporters. “You should show the videos of the police hurling stones at Maryam Nawaz’s car,” she said. The authorities should be taken to task over the way they are treating the country’s politicians. Meanwhile, former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah alleged police of thrashing peaceful workers and throwing chemical water at them. Earlier, the senior party leaders complained that the police had set up barriers outside the office and they weren’t being allowed to go inside. NAB had asked Maryam to show up before its combined investigation team today along with details of 200 hundred acres of land she allegedly acquired in Raiwind in 2013 in violation of rules. She was required to furnish complete details regarding the sale and purchase of land as well as funds arranged for acquiring the land. The bureau asked her to submit details of duty and tax payment for the purchase of the land in question and whether the land had been brought in agriculture or commercial use.

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