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NAB fails to arrest Sindh Assembly Speaker at his residence

Sindh High Court had earlier rejected Durrani's bail plea. Source: FILE.

KARACHI: A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team was unsuccessful in arrested Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at his residence and was forced to return empty-handed.

The anti-graft watchdog reached the house of Sindh Assembly Speaker to arrest him after he was denied bail in the assets beyond means case. However, it faced strong resistance and was unable to arrest him despite being present for nearly fifteen hours.

The NAB team was not allowed to enter inside the residence by security guards deployed there, who maintained that Durrani was not at home and they could not allow them to enter the place due to the presence of his female family members. The team after a long wait returned without arresting the accused.

The Sindh High Court had earlier rejected Durrani’s bail plea along with requests filed by ten other suspects. The bureau has reportedly completed all legal documentation and formed two special teams to take Durrani into custody.

READ MORE NAB raids Sindh Assembly Speaker’s residence seeking his arrest

The anti-graft watchdog is seeking Durrani’s arrest for allegedly owning assets beyond known sources of income. A 16-page written verdict by Justice Iqbal Kalhoro was issued earlier on Wednesday. According to the verdict, the speaker’s assets amount to Rs1.61 billion, whereas in 2018, they were Rs0.18 billion. It noted that none of his family members have ever held any political office.

NAB has alleged that Durrani bought properties in the name of his children with illegal income. The court said the case is against the Sindh speaker and not his children. The court approved the bail of Agha Siraj Durrani’s wife and daughters but rejected pleas of seven individuals.

After the rejection, NAB Karachi chapter sought permission from the bureau chairman to arrest him. NAB chairman Justice retired Javed Iqbal had reportedly directed the team to act as per law and that intelligence teams set up keep an eye on Durrani.

An accountability court in Karachi indicted Durrani and 18 others in a case pertaining to owning assets beyond known means of income back in December. Durrani has denied all charges.