Friday June 21, 2024

Accountability for Nawaz

By Editorial Board
September 11, 2020

Our accountability process remains confused and somewhat chaotic. In the latest development, Mian Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of the country, and the current ‘rehbar’ of the PML-N has been declared an absconder in the ‘Toshakhana’ case after failing to appear before a NAB court in Islamabad. Another former prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani and an ex-president Asif Ali Zardari have also been named in the matter. But there’s more ahead. Mian Nawaz Sharif refused to meet the final deadline to appear before the Islamabad High Court in connection with the Al-Azizia reference case. The question is whether that court will also declare him an absconder. The government has said it will be using the services of Interpol to try and recover Mian Nawaz and bring him back to the country. The process of confiscating his property is also said to have begun.

There are questions here. In the first place, it was agreed that Nawaz Sharif was to stay abroad until he had recovered from his health condition. Sharif has now attached papers with his application to the Islamabad High Court in which two senior doctors, one an American heart surgeon, who had earlier treated Mian Nawaz in Saudi Arabia and the other doctor who is taking care of him in London, have said that he needs an angiography and other procedures, but cannot undergo these as yet, given the Covid-19 situation.

The real question, however, is where the accountability process is headed. It seems that the political opposition remains the main target, and that attention is focused almost entirely on it. There’s also the matter of how the PML-N can operate without Nawaz and without a strong stand by his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, who has been prevented from travelling out of the country. We all know we badly need an end to corruption in our political ranks. We also need fair and transparent accountability. But the key word here is transparent. But such accountability must be carried out across the board and in a manner that makes it transparent to citizens. We hope that eventually the process that is undertaken can convince people that there is no aspect of victimisation and that all accountability attempts are transparent and free of any kind of vendetta.