Denies giving bribe to ex-law minister

Lahore: The central character of the Punjab Bank scandal, Director Haris Steel Mills, Haris Sheikh has accused the Punjab government of extortion and blackmailing while addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club here on Sunday.“The provincial government has forced me to issue statements according to its will and is continuously blackmailing me despite 90 pc payment of loan,” he said. He denied giving any bribe to the former Law Minister Dr Babar Awan and Malik Qayyum and made it clear that he paid them Rs 5 million only as case fee.He said that he was ready to return all the loans but the Punjab government was creating hurdles in that process. He said that his company had owed a loan of Rs 6.15 billion and out of that amount Rs 5.51 billion were already paid back. “We are ready to pay back the rest of the loan amount, but we are facing constant pressure from the Punjab government,” he added.He claimed that Advocate General Punjab Khawaja Haris has been harassing his family for the last three years resultantly they were in state of permanent anxiety and tension.Meanwhile, lawyers of Sheikh Haris told the press that in selling Sheikh Afzal’s assets worth millions of rupees at a throwaway price the Punjab government indulged itself in corruption.Haris further told the media that pressure from Advocate General Punjab compelled him to make statements against former federal minister Dr Babar Awan Malik Qayum, and Hamaish Khan. He further confessed that he made these statements for the sake of his family’s security and safety. – Onlinenews