Imran Khan behind my arrest, says Khawaja Asif

Khawaja Asif

 PML-N leader Khawaja Asif claimed Wednesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan was “100%” behind his arrest, adding that this was an attempt to weaken party supremo Nawaz Sharif. 

Asif was arrested by NAB Tuesday night in a case pertaining to acquiring assets beyond means of income. The party had gathered at PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal’s house in the federal capital for a huddle which was being attended by PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz.

Talking to reporters outside an accountability court in Islamabad, Asif said attempts have been made to break the party in the last two-and-a-half years.

When a reporter asked Asif to elaborate on a statement made by Maryam claiming that the Asif had been told all cases against him would be written off if he stood against Nawaz Sharif, the ex-defence minister said: “This is what we are all being told.”

Asif added that the case has been pending for over two years now. “I was given a charge sheet that assets increased but NAB has so far not investigated the matter. I have been facing this case for over two years, first in Rawalpindi then in Lahore.”

NAB Court Hearing

Inside the accountability court, judge Mohammad Bashir granted one-day transit remand of Asif to NAB.

The NAB prosecutor had sought a two-day transit remand, to which the lawmaker’s counsel pointed out that travel between Islamabad and Lahore takes only four hours. “Why are you asking for a two-day transit remand?” he asked, adding that the defence counsel was still awaiting grounds of arrest.

The case’s jurisdiction is with the accountability court in Lahore so the accountability court in Islamabad could only grant transit remand.

Taking the rostrum, Asif said the accountability watchdog has not provided grounds of arrest.

After hearing both sides, judge Mohammad Bashir granted a one-day transit remand and directed NAB to provide Asif and his counsel grounds of arrest. 

“In view of the distance between Islamabad and Lahore, transit remand is granted subject to medical fitness as such as the Investigating Officer is directed to produce the accused before concerned accountability on or before December 31 [Thursday]”.

Resolution in Punjab Assembly

In Lahore, a resolution was submitted to the Punjab Assembly condemning Khawaja Asif’s arrest. 

Filed by PML-N leader Hina Pervez Butt, the resolution said Asif is a democrat and a supporter of the supremacy of the Constitution. 

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