Business Recorder
Sharjeel Memon’s two-year ‘exile’ ends

Sharjeel Memon’s two-year ‘exile’ ends

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ISLAMABAD: Former information minister of Sindh Sharjeel Memon, who was detained late Saturday night at Islamabad airport and later released, questioned the alleged discriminatory actions, asking “why Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s name was not added to Exit Control List (ECL) for ongoing investigation against him in Panama papers case.”

Upon his arrival at the airport late Saturday night after almost two years of self-exile from abroad, officials of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took him into custody on charges of corruption.

However, the former provincial minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader was released after the NAB official verified his bail before arrest and solicited a written undertaking from his lawyer that Memon would comply with authorities’ orders.

Speaking at a news conference after his release, Memon lashed out at the NAB for what he said the accountability body was only targeting lawmakers from Sindh while no action was being taken in Punjab.

“Why was the NAB is silent after a press conference by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif?” He was referring to Prime Minister’s statement of February 2016 when he lambasted the authority, warning it to stay “within limits” when the NAB took some actions in Punjab.

He also asked: “Why didn’t the government place Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s name on ECL in connection with the ongoing Panama Papers case against him.”

Four provincial ministers of Sindh — Imdad Pitafi, Mukesh Chawla, Fayyaz Butt and Taimor Talpur— were accompanying Memon when he was taken into custody. He stated that a “video evidence” of a scandal against Education Minister of Punjab Rana Mashood was available and asked Punjab government and the center to take notice of the alleged partiality.

“I will not call it an arrest but it was a kidnapping…What kind of law is this? Is this the law of the jungle?” he asked while criticizing his brief detention NAB officials.

However, he said that the officials did not mistreat at the NAB premises. “My objection is on the way they took me into their custody,” he added.

He said that he had arrived in the country to face the pending cases against him, adding his name was added to the ECL without any indication or investigation against him.

“I was neither given any notice nor was I called for an investigation by any institution. Also there was no FIR or case registered against me,” he said, adding he had approached the court to find out the reasons behind placement of his name on the ECL.

He also rejected the accusation against him, adding he had never fled the country but was abroad for medical treatment on doctors’ advice. “Within three months, my name was placed on ECL,” he added.

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