ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Monday dared the government to show evidence and take action against the corrupt rather than holding pressers.

Speaking at a news conference here along with Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi accused Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar of getting a ‘fake story’ published in British newspaper Daily Mail.

Abbasi said the claimed funds had nothing to do with former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“If the government has any evidence, it should provide the evidence to the National Accountability Bureau,” he added.

He said Naveed Ikram was serving in Punjab Power Company but was sacked by Shehbaz Sharif for corruption. A total of Rs 400 million had been recovered from him, he maintained.

“Shehbaz Sharif will be filing a law suit in British court. The Special Assistant (Shahzad Akbar) should tell how much money has been spent on foreign visits,” he contended.

The former premier said the Punjab government had nothing to do with the funds of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority.

Earlier, Daily Mail claimed an alleged money laundering scandal of Shehbaz Sharif from the UK government aid for the 2005 earthquake victims in Pakistan.

The report said millions of pounds were transferred into the bank accounts of Shehbaz Sharif’s family members, including his wife, children and a son-in-law.

It reported to have interviewed key witnesses held on remand in jail, including a UK citizen Aftab Mehmood who claimed he had laundered millions on behalf of Shehbaz Sharif’s family from a nondescript office in Birmingham – without attracting suspicion from Britain’s financial regulators, who inspected his books regularly.

According to Daily Mail, investigators were convinced that some of the allegedly stolen money came from Department for International Development-funded aid projects.

For rehabilitating and rebuild lives of the poor, the DFID gave £54 million from UK taxpayers; and the legal documents allege that Shehbaz Sharif’s son-in-law Ali Imran received about £1 million from that fund.

The newspaper reported that investigators had launched inquiries into alleged thefts from DFID-funded schemes aimed at giving poor women cash to lift them out of poverty and to provide healthcare for rural families.

Allegedly, stolen millions were laundered in Birmingham and then transferred to Shehbaz Sharif family’s accounts by UK branches of banks including Barclays and HSBC.

The DFID, however, rebutted the Daily Mail’s claims. “The UK’s financial support to ERRA over this period was for payment by results – which means we only gave money once the agreed work, which was primarily focused on building schools, was completed, and the work audited and verified,” it said in its statement. “The UK taxpayer got exactly what it paid for and helped the vulnerable victims of a devastating earthquake. We are confident our robust systems protected UK taxpayers from fraud,” it said in a statement.

But David Rose, British author and investigative journalist who wrote the article in the Daily Mail said that the DFID “rebuttal” of his story about Shehbaz Sharif is “nothing of the kind.”

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led government’s minions should stop their whining by holding pressers despite being in the government and should take action if they have any plausible evidence.

“If Shahzad Akbar is so desperate for proofs for asset recovery and corruption, why is he blind to the proofs of corruption given by the Asian Development Bank in the Peshawar Metro case. Why is the government turning away from the proofs given by PML-N regarding corruption and money laundering of a sitting PTI MNA who had built assets with illegal money abroad,” he questioned, adding: “These fake claims of fighting corruption have been busted among people of Pakistan who now understand that all this is nothing but a political victimization drive.”

Meanwhile, Secretary Information Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians Dr Nafisa Shah yesterday expressed grave concerns over fine on Pakistan in Reko Diq case and demanded real accountability of those responsible for this loss to state of Pakistan.

In a statement, Dr Nafisa Shah said that all the responsible including Pervez Musharraf should be brought before the law in this case.