BIGGEST Corruption charges on Shehbaz Sharif, next Pakistan Prime Minister

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif is seen as frontrunner for the post of Prime Minister

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president, Shehbaz Sharif: FILE/AP

Islamabad: All eyes are on Pakistan, who is few hours will decide its next Prime Minister after cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan was removed from office through a no-confidence vote which was held early on Sunday morning. Now, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif is seen as frontrunner for the post of PM.

Post Sunday afternoon, 70-year-old Shehbaz Sharif nominated himself for the post of prime minister, while the former ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the political wing which is led by Imran Khan, has named Shah Mehmood Qureshi as its candidate for the post.

However, not much is known about Shehbaz Sharif outside his home country. The younger brother of three-time prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz hails from a wealthy industrial Sharif family.

Shehbaz is best known for his direct “can-do” administrative style which was well displayed when he was the chief minister of Punjab province.

But is Shehbaz, who is widely expected to replace Imran Khan and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan, all clean? The answer is no.

A look at some of the biggest corruption charges on Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz stepped into the world of politics in 1988 by winning an election in the Punjab province on a Pakistan Muslim League ticket. At that time, his elder brother Nawaz Sharif was the chief minister of the province.

In 1990, Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister and his brother Shehbaz was elected to the parliament. Shehbaz was much concentrated towards Punjab and became the chief minister of the province in 1997.

But in 2000, in a military coup in Pakistan, Shehbaz was imprisoned and sent into exile in Saudi Arabia. He returned from there after seven years and in 2007 he got back into politics.

In 2017, when Nawaz was removed as prime minister and was barred by the supreme court from holding any constitutional posts, Shehbaz was selected to lead the PML(N).

Money laundering case:

In December 2019, anti-graft body – National Accountability Bureau (NAB) froze 23 properties that belong to Shehbaz and his son Hamza, accussing the father and the son of money laundering.

In September next year (2020), NAB had arrested Shehbaz on charges of money laundering and income beyond means case.

The case was instituted against him by Imran Khan-led government and Shehbaz denied the charges, terming them as “politics victimisation”. However, he had to be behind the bar for several months before the Lahore High Court in April released him on bail in money laundering case.

Money laundering case in the UK

Shehbaz is currently facing a PKR 14 billion money laundering case in the United Kingdom brought against him by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The leader is on bail in the case.

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