LAHORE: During the accountability court hearing today, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif presented a letter from the Chinese Consul General in Lahore crediting the former chief minister for realising the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Punjab.
According to a report in Daily Jang, this happened during the hearing of a corruption reference pertaining to Ramazan Sugar Mills filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the PML-N chief.
The anti-graft watchdog alleged that the former chief minister issued directives to use Rs200 million from public money to construct a drain in District Chiniot primarily for the use of the sugar mills owned by his sons. His son, Hamza Shahbaz, is also under arrest in the case.
The father-son duo were brought to the accountability court in separate vehicles by Kot Lakhpat jail officials on Tuesday with PML-N workers gathered outside the judicial complex to welcome their leaders.
Hamza’s counsel informed the bench that mobile jammers were injurious to health. To which, the judge questioned who should be blamed for using mobile phones in court rooms.
Addressing Shahbaz Sharif, the judge asked whether he had something to say. “I have brought a letter sent to me by the Chinese Consul General in Lahore,” said the PML-N president as he began reading the letter before the court.
“I have been facing a barrage of accusation for two years, yet the Chinese Consul General is praising my work as a chief minister. He is appreciating a prisoner – it is no doubt an honour for me.”
NAB prosecutor objected to Shahbaz Sharif reading the contents of the letter during the hearing, stressing that it was irrelevant to the ongoing case and a waste of the court’s time.
To this, the judge said he had already directed Shahbaz Sharif to stay on topic.
Here is a copy of the letter: