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Pakistan's Anti-Graft Body Arrests Opposition Leader

Shahbaz Sharif (left) is a brother of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right, file photo)

Pakistan's anti-graft body said it had arrested opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif over corruption charges relating to a housing scheme.

The National Accountability Bureau said in a statement that it arrested Sharif, the brother of former ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on October 5 after several hours of questioning.

It was unclear when Shahbaz Sharif was due to appear in court.

Shahbaz Sharif is accused of misusing his authority as the chief minister of Punjab Province from 2013 to 2018 by influencing authorities to award contracts for a government-run housing program for low-income citizens to a company with which he had political affiliations.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) party, which Shahbaz Sharif heads, condemned the arrest which it said was politically motivated.

Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court last year over corruption allegations.

An accountability court in July sentenced the former leader and his daughter to 10-year and seven-year terms in prison, respectively, over the purchase of luxury apartments in London in the 1990s.

They have denied wrongdoing, with Sharif suggesting collusion between the country’s powerful military and courts to throw him out of power.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP