NAB team faces resistance during raid at Sindh Assembly Speaker’s house

KARACHI - A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team had to face resistance after it conducted a raid on Wednesday at the residence of Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, hours after the Sindh High Court denied bail plea of him and others in assets beyond means case.

The NAB team in two vehicles and alongwith police raided the residence of the Speaker after acquiring formal approval in this regard from the Chairman accountability watchdog Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal. The action came in the backdrop of the SHC hearing where the court rejected the bail plea of Agha Siraj Durrani and others in assets beyond known sources of income case. It ,however, on the contrary approved bail pleas of the wife and daughters of Durrani in the same case.

A 16-page written verdict authored by Justice Iqbal Kalhoro was issued and according to it, the speaker’s assets amount to Rs 1.61 billion, whereas in 2018, they were Rs0.18 billion. The judgment noted that none of his family members have ever held any political office. NAB has alleged that Durrani bought a property in the name of his children with illegal income, the judgment further observed. The court said that in its eyes, the case is against the Sindh Speaker and not his children.

The NAB team flanked by police was stopped by the security guards posted at the residence of the Speaker, who refused to let the team in, conveying a message from the female family members regarding the absence of Durrani at the residence.

NAB has alleged that Durrani bought a property in the name of his children with illegal income

Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh reached the residence of Agha Siraj Durrani after the raid and said that Durrani and Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah were being harassed after they refused to bow before any pressures.

“We are hopeful that he will get a relief from the apex court,” he said while hinting that the SHC decision would be challenged at the higher court. He further lamented that a wrong trend is being set in the politics regarding dragging families in the political victimization of the PPP leaders. In a later development, the family of the Speaker allowed the NAB officials to enter their premises conditionally with his son stating that they could enter alongwith lady searchers. “Only lady constables will be allowed to search the house,” he said ,adding, that previously NAB officials, who consider themselves as above the law, had harassed the female members of the family. 


While announcing the decision of his father, Shahbaz Durrani said that they would not allow any men to enter the premises. 

If arrested, this would not be the first time that Agha Siraj Durrani, a close confidante of Asif Ali Zardari, would be apprehended as previously in February, he was nabbed from an Islamabad hotel and was kept in custody for months. The NAB team at that time also raided his residence in Karachi and claimed to confiscate important documents detailing his financial activities.

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