Paragon Housing scam: Khawaja brothers' physical remand extended till January 26

Paragon Housing scam: Khawaja brothers' physical remand extended till January 26

Lahore (Staff Report): An accountability court on Saturday extended the physical remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother, Salman Rafique till January 26 in connection with the probe Paragon Housing Society scandal.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials presented Khawaja Saad and Salman in the court and sought extension in their physical remand.

Heavy contingents of police were deployed on this occasion.

Requesting for the extension in the physical remand of Khawaja brothers, NAB Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua said that the anti-graft body needed physical custody of the accused to conduct further investigation in the case.

Khawaja brothers' Counsel Amjad Pervez opposed the plea. He argued that the facts told by the Khawaja brothers were being distorted by the NAB officials.

Accountability Court Judge Syed Najamul Hassan, after hearing both sides and reserving the decision for some time, granted an extension in the physical remand of Khawaj brothers till January 26.

Talking to newsmen outside court premises, Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government had weakened the foundations of Pakistan’s economy in a matter of five months.

“It seems that the PTI-led government will not be able to complete its five-year tenure as public sentiment is fast turning against the ruling party”, he said.

Saad said that the government’s actions pose a threat to the continuity of democracy in Pakistan.

The PML-N leader added that opposition parties have joined hands to thwart attempts being made to derail democratic system in the country.

On December 11, 2018, NAB arrested Pakistan Railways former minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique after the Lahore High Court (LHC) turned down their plea seeking extension in interim bail in a case regarding Paragon Housing Society scandal.

NAB Lahore had issued a press release after the arrest stating that “accused Saad Rafique along with his benamidaar wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique in association with Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue which was converted into a new housing project namely M/S Paragon City Pvt Limited. Record shows that M/S Paragon City is an illegal society.”

“Accused has been and is continuously obtaining illegal/ illegitimate funds/ benefits from said project as he obtained 40 kanal plots in his own name and the name of his brother Salman Rafique,” the bureau said.