Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif calls himself ‘majnoo’, tells court he refused salary as Punjab CM

LAHORE: Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif testified on Saturday in a special court hearing in the PKR 16 billion money laundering case against him that he had refused to take any salary when he was the chief minister of Punjab province, calling himself a “majnoo” to to do this.
Shehbaz and his sons – Hamza and Suleman – were booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in November 2020 under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Hamza is currently the Prime Minister of Punjab Province, while Suleman is in hiding and staying in the UK.
The FIA ​​investigation has uncovered 28 benami accounts, allegedly belonging to the Shehbaz family, which laundered PKR 14 billion ($75 million) from 2008 to 2018.
The FIA ​​investigated the money trail of 17,000 credit transactions.
The amount was held in “hidden accounts” and given to Shehbaz in a personal capacity, according to the indictment.
“I have not taken anything from the government in 12.5 years and in this case I am accused of laundering 2.5 million rupees,” Shehbaz said during the hearing.
“God has made me the prime minister of this country. I am a majnoo (fool) and I have not taken my legal right, my salary and benefits,” Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.
He recalled that the secretary sent him a note on sugar exports during his tenure as Prime Minister of Punjab, when he set an export limit and rejected the notes, the report said.
Shehbaz first became Prime Minister of Punjab in 1997, when his brother Nawaz was Prime Minister.
After General Pervez Musharraf’s coup in 1999 that overthrew the government of Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz and the family spent eight years in exile in Saudi Arabia before returning to Pakistan in 2007.
He wore the hat of the Prime Minister of Punjab for the second term in 2008 and he grabbed the same lock for the third time in 2013.
“My family lost 2 billion PKR because of my decision. I’m telling you the reality. When my son’s ethanol production plant was set up, I decided to impose an ethanol tax anyway. My family lost 800 million PKR annually because of this decision. previous government withdrew that report saying it was unfair to the sugar factories,” he claimed.
The prime minister’s counsel argued that the money laundering case was “politically motivated” and “based on malicious intent” by the former government led by Imran Khan.
At the previous hearing on May 21, the special court had issued arrest warrants against Suleman, in the case after extending Shehbaz and Hamza’s provisional bail until May 28.

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