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PML-N, PPP adopt same stance on NAB

Top Story

May 22, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday took one the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for what they called insulting the politicians and making false propaganda against them.

Former president and the PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zali Zardari said that as per law the NAB chairman can’t give interview to media.

In an informal talk with media outside the accountability court, Zardari said the NAB chief doesn’t have right to give interview, as his post does not allow him to do so. “We will take action against him,” he said.

The former president said that according to law, the accused is favourite child of the court unless he proved guilty.

“But nowadays the NAB is producing people in handcuffs, dragging the elderly to jail and then saying run the economy,” he said, adding that economy will not function with handcuffing bankers and putting them in jails without evidence. He said there will be no boycott from the appearance, but they will make NAB run for it.

Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur appeared before the accountability court for the hearing of the fake accounts case which was adjourned till May 30. The court did not set a date for the indictment of Zardari and Talpur as the accused were not provided copies of the reference against them.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court granted interim bail to Zardari till June 13 in eighth inquiry related to illegal contracts.

A divisional bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani accepted the bail of Zardari against surety bonds worth Rs200,000.

Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek told the court that the NAB has summoned his client on May 23 in an inquiry related to alleged illegal contracts in the Sindh government. He said Zardari is cooperating with the NAB. He requested the court to stop the anti-graft body from arresting Zardari and grant an interim bail to him.

Meanwhile, the PML-N Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raised questions over integrity and impartiality of the NAB Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal, saying that he had no right to defame politicians.

Addressing a press conference here, the PML-N leader demanded resignation from the NAB chairman who he said had violated code of conduct as head of an institution like the NAB.

“Either the NAB chairman should resign or he should contradict contents of his interview given to a journalist,” he said.

Abbasi said Justice Javed Iqbal must not act like the country’s contractor. He said the NAB has big part in destroying the country’s economy as bureaucracy has been paralysed.

Other PML-N leaders including Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Maryam Aurengzeb and Murtaza Javed Abbasi were also present at the press conference.

“The NAB chairman did not utter a single word about the interview given to a columnist,” he said.

Abbasi said that the NAB chairman would have no other way, but to resign from his post or contradict contents of his interview. “Either the journalist is telling lies or the NAB chairman is not speaking the truth,” he said.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the interview given by the NAB chairman gave an impression that the only purpose of the NAB was to defame politicians through baseless allegations.

“The NAB should not give any statement which shows favour or discrimination towards any party,” Abbasi said, adding that country would not run if politicians are always targeted.

“The only propose of the NAB is to defame politicians and put baseless allegations on them. How can the country run if politicians are always targeted,” said the veteran PML-N leader.

He regretted that it was ironic to note that Abdul Aleem Khan received immediate bail while Ahad Cheema and Fawad Hasan Fawad, despite several appeals, failed to get the same favour. “The NAB is not an impartial institution as out of 3,500 cases, no case has been decided while the politicians are being defamed,” he said.

Abbasi said that the NAB chairman had stated that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were seeking a deal and were ready to return money. “Either the NAB chairman is lying or the interviewer, but in both cases politicians are being defamed,” he said.

The former prime minister pointed out that the NAB chairman also claimed that he was offered bribe, while Shahbaz was also offered to take retirement from politics.

“But contrary to his claims, Shahbaz Sharif never met the NAB chairman,” he said.

Abbasi said character assassination of politicians, which was also playing havoc with country’s economy, must stop now.

“The attitude of the NAB has paralysed the bureaucracy which is reluctant to take any decisions,” he said.