Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif Arrested in Assets Case, Nawaz Sharif Lashes Out at Imran Govt
File photo of former Pakistan minister Khawaja Asif. (Image credit: Twitter@KhawajaMAsif)
Pakistan's former foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was arrested here on Tuesday by anti-corruption officials for allegedly having assets beyond means of income. Asif was taken into the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when he was coming out of a party meeting here, said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PM-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The NAB, in a statement, said its officials from the Lahore office executed the arrest in "assets beyond known sources of income case." The bureau said that Asif held a Dubai iqama (work permit) from 2004 to 2008, and earned a total of Rs 136 million for his services as a consultant legal adviser. He was directed to submit details of the salary he received and other information. "Khawaja Asif continuously failed to cooperate during the inquiry," according to the NAB.
PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif condemned the arrest. He said it showed the government was rattled and that the days of blind vengeance (by the government) are numbered. His daughter Maryam Nawaz alleged that Asif was being pressured to oppose Nawaz Sharif and was arrested on refusing to do so.
With his arrest, Asif now joins a long list of PML-N leaders facing cases of corruption, including party president Shehbaz Sharif, senior members Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah, Javed Latif, Ahsan Iqabl, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Saad Rafique , among others.
The arrest comes at a time when the Pakistan Democratic Movement — an alliance of 11 Opposition parties — is organising protest rallies across the length and breath of the country, demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan resign.