MNA Hamza Shahbaz on Friday told an accountability court in Lahore that he chaired board meetings of the Punjab Saaf Paani Company in his capacity as a member of the ruling PML-N and not as a board member, DawnNewsTV reported.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in 2017 had launched a probe into the affairs of 56 public sector companies formed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s administration in Punjab to investigate their alleged involvement in corruption. Last week, NAB summoned Hamza after discovering he “attended various meetings related to issues pertaining to the affairs of Punjab Saaf Pani Company” and was allegedly in “possession of information/evidence whatsoever, which relates to the commission of said offence(s)”.
These companies are accused of certain irregularities, recruitment in violation of procurement rules and merit, nepotism, and non-completion of various projects in time.
During the hearing, Hamza — CM Sharif’s son — was asked in what capacity he had chaired five meetings of the Saaf Pani Company when he was not even a board member, to which he answered that the board had asked him to chair the meetings as a PML-N member.
While on his way out of the accountability court, Hamza insisted he was not a board member and maintained his innocence, saying: “There is no difference between a common man and Hamza Shahbaz.”
“No one is above the law,” he declared. “We have always obeyed the law and will continue to do so.”
When asked if he believed the case was a conspiracy by the “aliens” that his uncle, Nawaz Sharif, keeps referring to, Hamza said he believed “that Pakistan should move forward”.