PMLN chief Shehbaz Sharif arrested in water scam

Hundreds of people gathered outside the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, chanting slogans in support of Shehbaz Sharif, president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani said the detention of Shehbaz Sharif in Ashiana Housing Scheme scam after he was summoned by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Saaf Pani case as "unfair", adding that the arrest would make the anti-corruption watchdog controversial.

In the court, Sharif denied all the allegations and told the court that he had saved billions of rupees in different development project during his term as Punjab chief minister.

Sharif is the younger brother of former ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court previous year over corruption allegations.

The arrest came a little over a week ahead of the by-polls scheduled for October 14.

Police officers secure an armored vehicle carrying Pakistani opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif leaving following his court appearance in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018.

Sharif requested the court that it is political victimisation as he had not done any corruption during his tenure.

"Shahbaz Sharif being the chief minister had set great examples of transparency and honesty in all projects". However, after accepting the request court granted the physical remand for 10 days. A delegation led by PML-N called on the National Assembly Speaker asking him to convene a session of the lower house to debate the matter. "Chaudhry Latif is an absconder in an anti-corruption case". It shows that the accountability body had failed to gather actionable evidence to seek a sentence of its choice despite the investigation in Ashiana Housing scam having started nearly a year back.

"All know that the PTI government is responsible for this revenge", he said.

It was the first high-profile arrest in a corruption case since former cricket star Imran Khan became prime minister following July's elections.

Vanessa Coleman