Soon after the Pakistan Tehreeke Insaf (PTI) came into power several politicians, mostly from the opposition and one from the ruling party, walked in and out of prison on charges of corruption, money laundering among others, Geo News reported.
The majority of the politicians, and bureaucrats, arrested this year, have now managed to secure a bail bond from courts, many are still behind bars.
Here are some of the high-profile arrests of this year.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had on August 8 arrested Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz Sharif in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case on accusations of involvement in money laundering.
The anti-graft watchdog alleged that Maryam was involved in money laundering with the help of some foreigners between 1992-93 when her father Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister (PM).
Maryam was granted bail by Lahore High Court (LHC) on November 4 after she had filed a bail peition on September 30, seeking post-arrest bail in the money laundering case.
The PML-N leader is also fighting to get her name off the Exit Control List (ECL) to visit her ailing father in London, undergoing medical treatment after LHC granted him exemption to leave the country.
The senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Rana Sanaullah was arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on July 1after alleged recovery of a large stash of drugs from his car.
Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi had repeatedly claimed to have substantial evidence against Sanaullah and footages of the drugs recovered from Rana’s car. Yet, after almost six months, the prosecution failed to provid any such evidence to the court.
Later on December 22, the anti-narcotics court extended the former law minister’s remand by 14 days, however, the LHC on December 24 granted bail to Sanaullah in the narcotics possession case.
Asif Ali Zardari
Former president Asif Ali Zardari was arrested in July by the NAB, in connection to a money laundering case. NAB accused him of setting up fake bank accounts and illegally tranfering billions of rupees out of Pakistan. The accountability watchdog insists that Zardari has was acquired the money through kickbacks and bribes.
However on December 11, the PPP’s president was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on medical grounds.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
NAB on July 18 arrested former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on accusations of illegally awarding a contract for an Liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal while he was serving as the petroleum minister in the then PM Nawaz’s cabinet.
The accountability bureau claimed that the PML-N government rented out a terminal of the Engro Group for 15 years at a cost of Rs27 million per day. Khaqan’s name was later placed on ECL in April as well.
Former finance minister Miftah Ismail was cuffed on August 7 by Pakistan’s anti-graft watchdog, after IHC rejected his pre-arrest bail.
The PML-N leader was arrested in connection with an inquiry regarding the illegal awarding of LNG Terminal-1 to Engro Energy Terminal. Miftah’s remand was later extended from 16 to 20 days in December.
He, however, was granted bail by the IHC on December 23.
Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Hamza Shahbaz, was arrested by NAB on June 11 in the Ramzan Sugar Mills (RSM) money laundering case and for allegedly owning assets beyond his means.
The accountability court on September 4 sent Hamza to Lahore’s Camp Jail on judicial remand after rejecting NAB’s appeal seeking an extension in his remand.
Hamza’s case hearing couldn’t take place on December 20 due to a strike by lawyers and has been adjourned till January 3, 2020. He remains in the custody of jail authorities.
Aleem Khan — Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stalwart — was arrested on February 6 by accountability bureau in cases pertaining to owning assets beyond his known sources of income and alleged offshore companies. Aleem, at the time of his arrest was serving as Punjab’s local government minister from which he resigned soon after his arrest.
He was granted bail on May 15 by LHC against surety bonds worth Rs10 million, however he is still fighting the legal battle of a case regarding the illegal acquisition of Capital Development Authority (CDA) land.
PML-N stalwart Ahsan Iqbal was arrested on December 23 by NAB as he appeared before the court in relation to a corruption case.
NAB’s spokesperson after the arrest had said that the authority has cuffed Ahsan Iqbal in relation to the Narowal Sports City Complex case. An accountability court on December 24 granted a 13-day remand of PML-n leader in connection with the sports city corruption case.
PPP’s senior leader and a member of National Assembly, Faryal Talpur, was arrested by NAB on June 14. She along with her brother, Asif Ali Zardari, was accused of laundering money through fake bank accounts. The anti-graft body is probing four cases where the former president and his sister are the prime accused.
The cases are about transactions worth hundreds of millions of rupees to both the leaders’ private companies, allegedly, by using fake bank accounts. Talpur was also granted bail by IHC on December 17 against surety bonds worth Rs10 million.
NAB had arrested senior leader of PPP Khursheed Shah on September 18, accusing of allotting himself an amnesty plot illegally from a cooperative society in Sukkur. Nab also accuse Shah of acquiring assets worth some Rs700 million in the names of his frontmen through illegally acquired money.
An anti-graft court on December 17 granted bail to the Khursheed against surety bonds worth Rs5 million. The NAB later approached the Sindh HIgh COurt and urged it to nullify Shah’s bail as it was “against the law”. On December 23, the SHC suspended PPP leader’s bail in the corruption case.