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NAB again conducts raid to arrest Hamza Shehbaz

LAHORE: A team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday once again raided the residence of Shehbaz family’s 96-H Model Town residence in Lahore to arrest Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz.

The raid ensued a clash between the NAB team and PML-N workers at the Model Town residence of Hamza Shehbaz.

The development comes just a day after NAB conducted a failed ‘raid’ for his arrest there on charges of money laundering and income beyond means.

Police have blocked all the roads leading to Hamza’s residence. A team of Rangers personnel have also arrived in Model Town after NAB had requested for reinforcement.

Dozens of PML-N workers were seen trying to get through barriers placed by police in order to reach Hamza’s house, clashing with the police in the process.

NAB officials have said that they will not enter the house and that the PML-N leader should turn himself in. “We mean to arrest Hamza Shehbaz under all circumstances today,” said NAB’s deputy director.

Police personnel and anti-riot force have been deployed to execute the arrest.

Hamza’s legal counsel, Amjad Pervez, confirmed that he has challenged NAB’s arrest warrant in the Lahore High Court on his client’s behalf.

The high court will hear the appeal on April 8.

Punjab chief minister’s spokesman Dr Shahbaz Gill has said that NAB was an autonomous institution.

He said that Hamza should have surrendered yesterday.

NAB had on Friday raided the residence to arrest Hamza on charges of money laundering and income beyond means, but returned after facing resistance from his security guards and party workers.

The situation worsened with each side blaming the other for harassment. NAB filed an application with police to register an FIR against Hamza’s guards for interference in the state’s functions and requested the interior ministry to put his name on the no-fly list, while the latter also approached police to register a report against the raiding team of NAB.

NAB in a press release issued after the incident had said that its Lahore team, armed with arrest warrants for Hamza, had raided the residence to take him into custody in the assets beyond means case and a money laundering case.

The press release noted that the Supreme Court has made it very clear that NAB did not need to inform suspects prior to their arrest.

However, while addressing a press conference following the incident, Hamza showed a document that he described as a high court order. “I have a court order saying that I will be informed 10 days prior to arrest,” he had said, adding that the court told him he would be given an opportunity to make a case for obtaining bail as well.