An accountability court extended on Thursday the judicial remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Saad Rafique and his brother, Salman Rafique, by five days in the Paragon housing society case filed by the National Accountability Bureau.
According to NAB, Saad Rafique colluded with his brother, Qaiser Amin Butt and three other accused to form the Paragon City housing society. The Lahore Development Authority says the housing project was unapproved.
The Rafique brothers are accused of misusing their authority and causing billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer.
During the hearing on Thursday, police officials informed the court that three other accused, Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia and Farhan, had been on the run and there was no clue of them.
The court initiated proceedings to declare the three accused proclaimed offenders. It set the date of July 16 for providing copies of the reference to Rafique brothers.
After being provided the reference copies, the Rafique brothers would then be indicted formally at the next hearing.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Saad Rafique criticised the government and said that throwing opposition members in jail would not help run the country.
“A remote-controlled democracy can’t work in Pakistan,” the PML-N leader said. “Such attempts have been made four to five times, but it failed each time and an irreparable loss was caused to the country.”
He said the opposition parties did not want to topple the government, but their reconciliation policy was taken as their weakness.
“I say that still there’s time, but not much is left. The time is slipping out of hands,” Rafique said. “A time is about to come when the rulers would want to talk, but no segment, no political party would listen to them.”
The Rafique brothers were taken into custody by the NAB on December 11, 2018. They were sent on a judicial remand by the accountability court on February 2.
Their judicial remand has since been extended multiple times. Butt has turned approver in the case.