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Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. — File Photo
Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani again refused on Thursday to appear before officials of the National Accountability Bureau investigating a case relating to appointment of Tauqeer Sadiq as chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority. It was for the fourth time that Mr Gilani has refused to meet NAB investigators under summons issued to him.

He said that being a former prime minister he enjoyed immunity and could not be summoned by an investigation agency.

“We summoned Mr Gilani on Thursday in connection with illegal appointment of Tauqeer Sadiq,” NAB spokesman Ramzan Sajid said, adding that the former prime minister had already defied three NAB notices and on Thursday again he did not visit the headquarters to record his statement.

A NAB official said that after the arrest of Mr Sadiq the investigators wanted to match his statements with that of Mr Gilani.

Another former prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, has also been accused of being involved in the appointment as chairman of the interview board.

The official said that under the NAB Ordinance a person defying three consecutive notices of the bureau was liable to be arrested.

But, according to legal observers, Mr Gilani cannot be arrested because an arrest order has to be approved or signed by the NAB chairman. But the office has been vacant for about two months since removal of retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari by the Supreme Court on May 28.

According to sources, an accountability court in Rawalpindi has been informed about the former prime minister’s stance.

But again, the NAB spokesman said, the accountability courts usually issued arrest orders in such cases on complaints signed by the chairman.

Mr Sadiq was arrested by Abu Dhabi police on intervention of Interpol and brought to the country. An accountability court handed him over to NAB on 14-day physical remand which will end on July 23.

The former prime minister has already submitted his reply to investigators’ queries.

The sources said he had rejected the allegations but agreed to be of help in the investigation.

Our Staff Reporter adds from Lahore: Mr Gilani said in a statement issue here that the constitution provided complete immunity to the prime minister and, therefore, he was not accountable to any law-enforcement agency for what he had done as the chief executive of the country. “I have performed my duties as then premier in good faith.”

He said he had taken a similar stance regarding immunity of the president.

He said people were asking why only cases relating to the president, him and his family were being pursued.

He said he would like to know what action was taken to implement the Asghar Khan case verdict.

Comments (12) Closed

Adnan Jul 19, 2013 01:10pm

hahaha, the most corrupt PM in Pakistani history says he is immune to prosecution and interrogation, is he for real ? Has anyone told him he is going to jail. Has anyone told him the billions he stole from this poor nation will take him and his sons to jail and then straight to hell from there. This man is the worst of the lot, after zardari of course.

Shahid Ali Jul 19, 2013 01:57pm

Corrupt former Prime Minister of Pakistan taking refuge under so called "immunity"

m h kayani Jul 19, 2013 02:04pm

I suggest immediate arrest and right inside jail. The man is corrupt and dishonest and his family is no lesser evil.

JAVAID KHAN Jul 19, 2013 02:18pm

Mr Gillani arguments are against the basic principles of Islam.He should not try to hide his crimes behind so called immunity

Ray Jul 19, 2013 02:41pm

Former PM not appearing before NAB??? The PM seat is not a ticket to do anything that one likes or wishes. Gilani, you are accountable for what you have done! Let's see how the Sharif's and the Chief justice approach this one. For sure there will be 'muk muka' - if it were Musharaf things would've been different because of personal vendetta.

elcay Jul 19, 2013 02:45pm

He knows very well that in the absence of NAB Chairman at post no warrant can be issued for his arrest.That is why the ex chairman has filed for a stay on the appointment of a NAB Chairman!

akram Jul 19, 2013 02:56pm

Mr Gilani, your non compliance seems to lead the public to assume you are guilty of something. You would have done your own reputation better by simply appearing voluntarily if you had nothing to hide.

analyst Jul 19, 2013 02:57pm

@Adnan: to get the NAB off of his back all he has to do is to quit PPP for example Sherpao and Faisal Saleh Hayat.

Riaz Jul 19, 2013 03:02pm

When the law & constitution of country starts to become an obstacle and starts giving corrupt people a free hand, then I guess Army should intervene and bring the corrupt people to justice as it is a clear indication that civilian government & enforcement agencies are an utter failure. These people misuse the immunity - as being the chief executive of the country doesn't mean that you do all the corruption while in power and after the power is taken away you either hide under the immunity clause or run away from the country. That has been the history of Pakistani Chief Executives. General Musharraf was the only Chief Executive that came back to the country as he had done nothing wrong, but our law-makers are trying to take revenge due to personal vendettas against him. The law of Pakistan is really become a mistress of our law-makers who play with it whenever they want. Really shameful. I know my comments won't be published, but still I am putting my heart-felt emotions out here!

surtee Jul 19, 2013 03:24pm

immunity,from what ?a prime minister refusing court orders,what to say about commoners.if you are innocent why ask for immunity.come forward and clean the slate,let citizen know your worth.

Omer Jul 19, 2013 03:34pm

What immunity is he talking about. NAB is only summoning him to match his statement against Tauqir Naser's statement. NAB has not charged him (yet). If he is not guilty there is no need to be defensive.

Lala Jee Jul 19, 2013 03:45pm

Hang him. His son has been taken to task now Pakistan should get him too.