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S
Sabah
March 18, 2020

NAB be ‘closed down to run country smoothly’: Abbasi

Top Story

S
Sabah
March 18, 2020

Ag APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has suggested shutting down the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) so the country could be run “in a smooth way”.

“Our single demand is that the NAB should be closed down,” the former prime minister said at a news conference after Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother were granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Senior party leaders Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Khurram Dastgir, and Marriyum Aurangzeb were also present, along with other leaders.

“The Supreme Court has stated that the law is being taken as a joke,” Abbasi added. “The chairman NAB (Javed Iqbal) should resign, and Imran government departments. The director general of MI5, Sir Andrew Parker, has ultimate responsibility for the organisation. In a statement, Ms Patel said: “The risks posed to the UK and its allies from state-based threats have both grown and diversified in recent years, ranging from espionage and subversion to coercion and assassination.

“The use of the internet as a way for states to expand their influence poses new issues and has made it easier for attacks to be carried out, whilst making it harder to identify those responsible. We face sustained and hostile activity which is deliberate and targeted and intended to threaten our national security.”

The move comes after the government announced a review of the Official Secrets Act to assess whether it needs further powers.

The threat was underlined by the attempted murder in Salisbury in 2018 of the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, by Russian agents using the Novichok nerve agent. —PA

Khan should listen to what the court has said today.” The former premier reiterated that “if country has to be run, NAB should be shut [down]”, suggesting that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Federal Board of Revenue, and other laws could be used for accountability. “NAB is being used to suppress the voice of truth, and allegations should be levelled according to law.”

Abbasi said the remarks passed by the judges of the bench “are the same things which we (the PML-N) have been talking about for the last two years”, quoting the Supreme Court as terming it a “mockery of justice”.

“NAB is not only being used against politicians, but it is now also being used against the media,” the former prime minister added. He said the single amendment that the party would suggest regarding the NAB, is for “this Lucky Irani Circus to be closed down”.

When he spoke, Khawaja Asif said not only did the court term it a mockery of law, it also mentioned “incompetence”. “After all these remarks, there is no room left for continuing this process,” the former foreign minister added. He also criticised the ruling party’s coronavirus messaging. “On the last day of the recent National Assembly session, the government had said no panic should be created due to coronavirus and schools would not be closed, however, the same evening the schools were closed,” he said.

Asif added that students from China were not permitted to come back due to coronavirus, but “a sea of people is coming through the Taftan border”. He alleged that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari “permitted the whole sea to come in Pakistan through Taftan”. He also claimed “whole convoys are missing” and it was not being determined where these convoys are”, adding “these people are in the thousands”.

On the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal also spoke, saying: “Today it has been proved that NAB is the Gestapo of Imran Khan and its only purpose is to silence the voice of the opponents of government, curtail political freedoms and silence the voice of the media.”

When he spoke, Rana Sanaullah said: “If approval of bail does not prove innocence, the registration of case also does not prove guilt.”

Meanwhile, in a television interview, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said a “fake and frivolous case has been destroyed today”, adding that the bails are a “slap on the face of the NAB chairman as well as NAB”.

Bukhari later refuted the claims of his alleged involvement in allowing pilgrims to pass through the Taftan border in a series of tweets. The PM’s aide said neither he, nor any other leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf influenced any institution to give permission to anyone for entering Pakistan through the Taftan border.

“To all the ‘so called’ journos that are lying based on their personal agendas: no influence was used by me or any other PTI leader — which isn’t even under federal control,” the special assistant wrote. Bukhari also categorically rejected the rumours claiming that he had a conversation with Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan in that regard.