Saturday May 27, 2023

Double standards of NAB caused harm to Pakistan: PM Shehbaz

Rule of "might is right" must be buried forever by people of Pakistan, says premier in Lahore

By APP & Web Desk
February 11, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaking during a ceremony after laying the foundation of Bab-e-Pakistan in Lahore. — YouTube screengrab/ PTV News Live
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaking during a ceremony after laying the foundation of Bab-e-Pakistan in Lahore. — YouTube screengrab/ PTV News Live 

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif found on Saturday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at fault for pushing Pakistan towards destruction, saying that its "double standards" harmed the country. 

“The double standards [of NAB] have caused harm to Pakistan. The rule of ‘might is right’ must be buried forever by the 220 million people of the country,” the premier said while addressing a ceremony after laying the foundation stone of Bab-e-Pakistan and the expansion and infrastructure upgradation of Walton Road in Lahore. 

He regretted that the project was supposed to be a venue for national and international visitors, but it hit a snag in 2008 when its contract was awarded during the rule of late General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

"About Rs1.10 billion of the nation was buried in its ruins. The contractor was a fraud and lacked experience who wanted to import granite from Italy at a cost of worth Rs900 million," he added. 

The prime minister opined that it would be a shame for a poor country like Pakistan, where the basic necessities of life like health and education were scant, to use costly imported tiles for the construction of the historic monument.

"I was told that Rs900 million worth of white granite was to be imported from Italy for this monument and when I asked why, the person concerned said that without this granite, the creation of Pakistan is unimaginable," he said.

The PM said he refused to carry on with the project with the said "consultant", adding that the contractor was a "fraud" who had no experience but was given the project without bidding.

PM Shehbaz Sharif went on to say that with such a display of callousness, billions of the country were wasted.

He said such cases also raised questions about the performance of the anti-graft watchdog that "targeted the innocent" but did not summon the people involved in such cases.

“I wish no one goes to NAB's akhuwat khana, not even my enemy. Innocent people were pushed against the wall. [But in] this project, where billions were misappropriated, did NAB look into the elements who indulged in corruption?”

Speaking about the site of the project, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that they had once again gathered at the historic place for which millions of migrating Muslims from the sub-continent had offered historic sacrifices, and strived under the great leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, for the creation of a separate homeland.

"On their way to the newly created homeland, they came across the worst kind of carnage, with thousands of children and women braving the onslaught," he added.

Referring to the Walton road, the prime minister said it was the place where thousands of migrants from India took refuge and the locals supported them which renewed the precedent of Ansar-e-Madina.

The unique precedent would always be remembered, he added.

PM Shehbaz Sharif observed that the Muslims migrated to a newly created country to get rid of the foreign rulers and with a desire to establish a society in which merit, justice and equality would prevail.

About the construction of Bab-e-Pakistan, the premier said Nawaz Sharif laid its foundation stone in 1991 and in 1997 when the PML-N came to power, work on the project was expedited.

He said it should be a place for the younger generations.