The hearing was originally scheduled to take place inside the judge's chamber, but was later moved to an open court following PML-N lawyers' protest. They claimed that Shahbaz Sharif was arrested to malign PML-N before the by-polls.
In July, an anti-corruption court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison over properties his family allegedly owned in the United Kingdom, following revelations in the Panama Papers.
Nawaz and former Punjab chief minister discussed future strategy. "NAB summoned him (on Friday) in Saaf Pani Company case but arrested him in the Ashiyana housing case".
PML-N has made a decision to constitute a committee to hold consultations over the arrest of party President Shehbaz Sharif. A combined investigation team of the country's top anti-graft watchdog quizzed him for an hour over his alleged role in awarding contract to his "favourite firm" in violation of laws in the Ashiyana-i-Iqbal housing project. Senior PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq and senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq told the media that the party had sought cooperation from other opposition parties and described Shehbaz Sharif's arrest as "unjustified".
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According to a news sources, the NAB administration granted "special permission" to Shehbaz Sharif's sons Hamza and Salman, Shehbaz's wife Nusrat, and elder brother Nawaz Sharif to see the National Assembly opposition leader on their request.
The Ashiana Housing Scheme was launched by the Punjab government in 2010.
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Khursheed Shah condemned the arrest, calling it an insult to Parliament. The PPP chairman said his party had no issues with accountability, but there must be no political victimisation in the name of accountability. This, in turn, would open the way for Shehbaz Sharif's party to return to power in the coveted province of Punjab.
Nawaz Sharif was released from prison last month pending an appeal.
The Panama Papers case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in the 1990s when he twice served as Pakistan's prime minister to purchase assets in London.