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PM’s aide, Senate deputy chief trade barbs over NAB

By Agencies
December 24, 2020

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar and Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla traded barbs on Wednesday, with the former accusing the latter of “misusing his position for personal gains” and the lawmaker asked him to “do his own job and not interference in affairs of Parliament”.

The issue began when Akbar said in a news conference that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would not allow anyone to “disgrace” institutions, referring to Mandwivalla’s attacks on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), who he has accused of human rights violations and alleged custodian deaths.

“Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla should challenge the court’s order for forfeiture of his stock market shares at the relevant high court instead of targeting NAB,” Akbar said, while talking to media.

He said a member of Parliament was “not a sacred cow”, adding that any parliamentarian “cannot use his official position for personal benefits”.

“There is no immunity to any parliamentarian and Mandviwalla should not have to misuse his official position for personal gains,” the adviser said.

He lamented that the opposition wanted to make the country a “banana republic”. He claimed that Mandviwalla had started “targeting” NAB after it instituting cases against him, adding that the government would defend the anti-graft body in the Senate during the ensuing session scheduled to be held on December 30.

“The PDM was formed after failure of opposition to get NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance). The main objective of the opposition is to seek NRO. The opposition wants to get immunity from its corruption cases,” he alleged.

The proposed amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance by the opposition were “aimed at getting immunity from their crimes, which are not acceptable to the government”. Responding to a question, he said as per agreement with United Kingdom, the transfer of convicted prisoners was possible among two countries.

The UK government has given assurances of considering the application of Pakistan to extradite Nawaz Sharif, whose visit visa application had already been expired. The visa of Nawaz who is convicted should be cancelled, the adviser opined.

In response, Mandviwalla spoke to reporters in Islamabad, where he said he “absolutely” would use his rights of a privilege motion as a parliamentarian and warned Akbar to “do his own job and not interfere in the affairs of Parliament”. “Don’t tell a parliamentarian how to run Parliament”. He also said “NAB was not formed to check who purchased what plot”.