Aashiana case approver claims confession given under NAB pressure


An accountability court in Lahore on Tuesday issued a detailed verdict for the previous hearing in the Aashiana reference against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Accountability Court Judge Sajid Awan issued the 19-page written order of the previous hearing.

Approver Israr Saeed, chief engineer of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), retracted his statement, and appraised the court that NAB Director General Shahzad Saleem, Director Muhammad Rafi, and investigation officer Aftab Ahmad pressured him into giving a false confession. Israr said he made all his statements before the court under pressure from NAB.

In cross-examination by PM Sharif’s lawyer Amjad Parvez, Israr Saeed admitted that the NAB DG also asked him to accuse Shehbaz of harassment.

Israr further said CCTV cameras were installed in the NAB washroom while he was under arrest.

During the second remand, NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal and DG Shahzad Saleem came to him cell, and said there was a lot of pressure on them.

They told me to sign the confession of my problems will exacerbate.

Another NAB approver, Arif Majeed Butt, also said there was no corruption in the Aashiana project.

The court has summoned more witnesses, and adjourned the hearing till February 18. It is pertinent to note that Shehbaz Sharif was the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly when Israr Ahmed recorded his statement against him, and subsequently his bail was rejected by the court.