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Cheema's arrest draws ire of Punjab's power centre

24 February 2018

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday has obtained important record of former Director General (DG) of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Cheema in Ashiana Housing Scheme scandal.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan has claimed of exposing "the nexus of corruption" between Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab government bureaucrats.

Earlier on Thursday, a large number of officers from the administrative secretaries and divisional commissioners in Punjab called on the Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed in an emergency meeting at the Civil Secretariat, where they expressed their concerns over the arrest.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, NAB is all set to file four additional references against Ahad Cheema and has launched investigations into former LDA DG's offshore accounts in Turkey and Portugal.

Cheema was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the MM Alam Road in Lahore over corruption allegations regarding taking 32 kanal land as a bribe.

According to the PTI chief, the Punjab government bureaucrats were petrified over Cheema's arrest as they feared he would disclose all the mega scams that have taken place in Punjab in order to save himself. Some of them were of the opinion that it would be better for them to demand dignity without leaving their offices.

The NAB officials produced Ahad Cheema, who now heads two power companies, before AccountabilityCourt Judge Muhammad Azam in a special vehicle amid strict security arrangements.

Speaking to reporters after attending an event at the Lahore College for Women University on Friday, Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the NAB was attempting to influence and change the loyalties of politicians through its actions.

The arrest came after Cheema failed to appear before the bureau despite several notices.

During the meeting, bureaucrats unanimously passed a resolution against the NAB. He said this had happened before when NAB officials had started registering cases against PML-N leaders at the behest of military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Mr Sadiq further said that Mr Cheema's arrest at the inquiry stage was not justified. He asked how the bureaucracy could go on strike without the government's blessings.

Cheema's arrest draws ire of Punjab's power centre