Shehbaz Sharif releases bank correspondence, says didn’t avail ‘single penny relief’

ISLAMABAD: The former chief minister of Punjab on Friday claimed that he did not claim "single penny [of] relief" during his tenure "despite being in a position to take discounts or concessions". In a post on his Twitter as the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shehbaz Sharif shared publicly two letters "of 2014/2015" from the chief executive and president of the National Bank of Pakistan, saying that they were his responses to "those political opponents who blame us for misuse of 'power'." Sharif, who is the incumbent leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA), noted that while being in the position of power, he refrained from personal gains, writing: "Despite being in a position to take discounts or concessions, not a single penny relief was claimed." In one of the letters, the then-NBP boss Syed Iqbal Ashraf wrote that the bank "wishes to place its appreciation on record of your immense personal support in facilitating the amicable settlement arrived at between all the secured creditors including NBP and Ittefaq Group of Companies". "… the entire outstanding of Principal + Mark-up + Cost of Funds + Other Charges has been received by all lenders and none of the secured creditors including NBP allowed any financial relief, write-off, waiver etc," the letter read. Shehbaz Sharif chairs first PAC meeting Ashraf praised Sharif’s “personal character and foresighted vision” and said he was “personally grateful to your kind-self for standing by your commitments in the process of this settlement”. The other letter mentioned that there were "no further claims outstanding under the subject proceedings". The former Punjab CM added: "Did anyone question Jahangir Tareen/Pervaiz Elahi for looting the banks?" Earlier, Sharif was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ashiana Housing case, following which he was sent to jail. These days, however, he is out on a transit remand and, on December 28, 2018, chaired the first meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.
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