Almost three weeks after his release from jail, the supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is set to resume political activities from Monday (today) by presiding over an "emergency meeting" of the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) in Lahore.
A meeting of the PML-N parliamentary party condemned the arrest, saying: "The unfortunate precedent of using NAB against political opponents is being revived again". "Shahbaz Sharif's arrest just before by-elections is unacceptable", she said.
In July, an anti-corruption court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison over properties his family allegedly owned in the United Kingdom, following revelations in the Panama Papers. He is accused of abuse of power during his tenure as the chief minister of Punjab from 2013-2018 by influencing authorities to award contracts for a housing program to a company with which he had political connections.
The blue-eyed officers of Shahbaz and Nawaz, Lahore Development Authority former director general Ahad Cheema and Fawad Hasan Fawad, former principal secretary to Nawaz Sharif, are already in NAB custody in the Ashiana Housing case.
Scores of party leaders, meanwhile, had earlier gathered outside the Accountability Court in Lahore, chanting slogans in favour of Shehbaz.
"We strongly condemn the arrest of the party president by the NAB".
The Ashiana Housing Scheme was launched by the Punjab government in 2010.
"The fashion in which Shehbaz has been arrested is tantamount to humiliating the entire parliament", said Khursheed Shah, a PPP parliamentarian and former opposition leader. "The NAB will produce the former Chief Minister of Punjab in the honourable accountability court tomorrow", a statement from the agency said.
As per details garnered, Begum Nusrat Shehbaz, Hamza Shehbaz and Salman Shehbaz were also present in the meeting.
Shahbaz's son-in-law Ali Imran Yousuf is also facing corruption inquiries in this case.
Nawaz Sharif was released from prison last month pending an appeal.