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NAB chairman taking decisions on PM’s orders: PML-N


June 4, 2020

LAHORE: Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has alleged that the government is blackmailing NAB chairman and he is taking decisions on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He expressed these views outside the Lahore High Court during the appearance of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif for pre-arrest bail Wednesday. Abbasi said, “The ill-intent of the government and the NAB has been exposed today. Shahbaz Sharif has been answering all their questions for 20 months now. He appeared before the investigation committee 10 to 15 times and was remanded in the NAB custody for 70 days and then in judicial custody. “Despite all kind of pressure tactics, the NAB and government could not prove even a single allegation against Shahbaz Sharif,” Abbasi asserted. Raising questions on the investigations conducted by the anti-graft body, former premier said when the NAB fails in finding any proof in the case, it uses three tactics as a last resort: assets beyond means, money-laundering and benami accounts.

“NAB could not even prove embezzlement of government funds against Shahbaz,” he noted. Insisting that Shahbaz is ready to cooperate with the Bureau, the former prime minister demanded that the investigation should be conducted in front of cameras so that everyone can see the real picture. “If the purpose is to blame and defame someone, the NAB has been doing this for 20 years now,” he complained, lamenting that when national institutions stoop down to this level, the country’s roots become hollow.

Although Shahbaz was summoned by the Bureau on June 2, his arrest warrants were issued on May 28 by the NAB chairman, Abbasi said, adding “is it not dishonesty?” Giving out an address of a residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park, the PML-N leader asked the NAB chairman to send a team there and investigate who the owner is, whether he has the means to purchase the property, whether he has declared it in tax returns and what the money trail is. “I am giving you proof in Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), wheat sugar and drug scandals. Why there’s no paper submitted in the foreign funding case?”

He further said people of Pakistan have the right to know who hiked the policy rate to 13.25% and what happened in the finance ministry. When the country is grappling with deadly diseases like Covid-19 that has wreaked havoc in the country, he said, the cabinet meetings are busy in discussing Nawaz Sharif and how to malign the leaders with false accusations.

“If the country’s problems are solved by putting us in jails, then we are ready,” he said. PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal also spoke on the occasion and said this is an attempt by the government to prevent the Opposition leader from attending the budget meeting. “The virus has taken the form of an emergency in the country and the government is only bent on making false cases against the Opposition,” he added.

Moreover, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah’s vehicle was stopped at the Regal Chowk. Police officials insisted on checking the vehicle but Rana refused. He said he would allow checking in the presence of media. He feared that police would put drugs in his vehicle as they did earlier.

Meanwhile, Kh Saad Rafique talking to reporters said the NAB should not have got issued arrest warrants at a time when Shahbaz had applied for pre-arrest bail. He added NAB’s raid on Model Town residence was illegal.

He also said police were not allowing them to get into the courtroom despite it was an open court. He said the chief justice had ordered to open all routes but police were stopping them to enter court.

PML-N Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Imran Khan was using the NAB for diverting attention from his corruption, incompetence and failures through the most vicious political victimisation campaign for the last two and a half years.

She said despite having all powers, records, abusing government machinery, violating Constitution; Imran has failed to prove a single penny of corruption, misappropriation or embezzlement of public money on any of PML-N leaders.

That is why this entire ‘circus’ has been staged over and over again because it is based on nothing but fictitious claims and holds no truth in the courts.

She said the NAB-Niazi unholy alliance can only illegally arrest and abduct political rivals but have not ever been able to file a single reference against them. This government of ‘clueless bullies’ and amateurs can only put political opponents behind bars to feed their petty vengeance.

This new wave of witch-hunting against Shahbaz Sharif is another diversion tactic by the corrupt, incompetent and unqualified government.

On the other hand, she said large numbers of people were dying from surging coronavirus and PM Imran Khan has failed in devising and implementing any strategy to fight the pandemic.

With all this going on, the government has all its resources focused on Shahbaz instead of coronavirus. Marriyum said, “The government has failed in providing any relief to the poor, daily-wagers and underprivileged and to hide this they are trying to arrest Shahbaz; the government has no answer over the sugar corruption and theft which is why it is trying to arrest the PML-N president.