Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shehbaz arrived in Pakistan in the early hours of Sunday after four years in self-exile.
His visit to Pakistan comes days after the Islamabad High Court barred the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting him in an assets-beyond-means reference after he reaches the country, Dawn reported.
The court made the announcement while hearing Suleman Shehbaz’s petition for protective bail that would allow him to surrender before a trial court. Shehbaz Sharif’s party Pakistan Muslim League (N) shared a video of Suleman Shehbaz returning home on Twitter.
The video showed Suleman Shehbaz meeting his father and the two shared a hug. In the video, Shehbaz Sharif garlanded Suleman. Attaullah Tarar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) can be seen in the video as well. Mr Tarar also posted the video of Suleman Shehbaz’s return to Pakistan on Twitter.
On Thursday, the Islamabad High Court directed Suleman Shehbaz to surrender before the court by December 13. The decision of the court comes after Suleman Shehbaz requested the IHC through his lawyer Amjad Pervaiz for two-week protective bail in a money laundering case as he had decided to end his London exile, as per The News International reported.
Suleman Shehbaz had requested the court to grant him bail so that he could appear before the court after he arrives in Pakistan, as per The News International report. Mr Pervaiz informed the court that Suleman Shehbaz will arrive in Islamabad on December 11 and also submitted his ticket to the court.
Notably, Suleman Shehbaz has been living in London with his family since 2018 after the National Accountability Bureau registered multiple cases against him ahead of the general election. He left Pakistan after appearing in a few hearings and had lived in London since 2018.
Before travelling back to Pakistan, Suleman released a statement in which he said that he was forced to leave Pakistan for his safety, as per the Dawn report. Suleman Shehbaz claimed that “fake and manipulated cases” were filed against him and his family to “facilitate a new political order.”
Suleman Shehbaz stressed that the cases were the “worst example of political witch-hunt and political victimisation.” Furthermore, he claimed that the cases were “cooked up by the National Accountability Bureau under the former NAB chairman Javed Iqbal and the Assets Recovery Unit.”
In June 2020, the NAB seized Suleman’s shares worth Rs 2 billion in 16 companies along with a cash amount of Rs 4.1 million and 10 marlas of agricultural land as well as pieces of land spread over 209 kanals, according to Dawn. NAB had said that assets worth Rs 3.3 billion were identified and illegally collected by Suleman, his brother Hamza Shehbaz and their father Shehbaz Sharif.
The FIA in a report presented to the court in 2021 said that the investigation team identified “28 benamidar accounts of the Shehbaz family,” as per the news report. Arrest warrants for Suleman were issued on May 28, however, the FIA told the court that they cannot arrest him as he had gone abroad.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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