NAB is being used to exact political revenge: Marriyum Aurangzeb

Updated October 05, 2018

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Shahbaz becomes the second Sharif to be arrested by the NAB in 2018. — File
Shahbaz becomes the second Sharif to be arrested by the NAB in 2018. — File

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif was on Friday arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Here is how news analysts and his fellow politicians reacted to the news:

Khursheed condemns Shahbaz's arrest

Senior PPP leader and MNA Khursheed Shah condemned Shahbaz's arrest while talking to Geo News.

"The government should avoid the politics of revenge. It is taking such steps due to the failure of its 100-day programme," he was quoted as saying.

Shahbaz's arrest NAB's doing; govt remained non-partisan: Info minister

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry maintained that the federal government acted in a non-partisan way and that the Shahbaz arrest was purely the NAB's doing.

"These cases were created in their own government by the NAB. In NAB law they first conduct an inquiry, then investigation and then the reference is filed. So now the NAB has converted these cases into investigation as they have seen that there is a lot of potential. Massive corruption worth Rs56 billion has taken place in these cases.

"The government is completely non-partisan in this but we want to know that the people who looted the country of Pakistan are being held accountable. Those involved in other big cases should also be arrested.

"And whatever cooperation the NAB needs from the government, whether it is in the form of the FIA or getting people extradited through red warrants or assistance in prosecution, the government is ready to help in every possible manner. But also keep in mind that the NAB is a free institution and is not in the government's control. "

Timing of arrest shows govt is scared: PML-N

The PML-N, meanwhile, linked the arrest to the looming by-elections, saying: "The arrest at the time of by-elections prove how scared the government is of the PML-N. The opponents view free and fair elections as their political death."

"The history of using the NAB against political rivals is being repeated again," the party stated, adding: "To arrest the leader of the opposition without speaker National Assembly's permission is against the law."

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb questioned how could the NAB arrest Shahbaz when "the [previous] Punjab government had not issued even an inch in Ashiana Housing scheme."

"This was a public-private partnership," she said while directing her party workers to remain calm and not resort to violence. "The NAB is being used for political revenge."

You reap what you sow: Zartaj Gul

PTI MNA Zartaj Gul Wazir sided with the NAB on the development, reminding how "billions were looted without providing even a single drop of water to Punjab."

PML-N will win by-elections with ease: Abidi

Ali Raza Abidi, a former MQM MNA from Karachi, claimed that the arrest would help the PML-N "win the upcoming by-elections in Punjab" with ease.

'NAB should have gathered evidence before arrest'

Veteran journalist Zahid Hussain felt that the NAB should have first gathered all the evidence before making the arrest.

"Shahbaz Sharif has been arrested but there are no allegations on him; he has been taken into custody for investigation," he said. "What matters now is that up to what degree these can be proved. NAB laws do allow to make arrests for investigation but the thing to see is whether they can prove it as well.

"I am not saying that Shahbaz Sharif should not be answerable to the law but what should be looked into is how the arrest was made. Arrest can take place when you are ready to charge. First you should gather all the [evidence] so at the time of arrest a charge sheet can also be issued."

'Corruption worth billions proven'

PTI leader and lawyer Babar Awan took to Twitter to claim that corruption worth billions of rupees had been "proven" against Shahbaz.

"Shahbaz Sharif said a 100 times that he should be hanged upside down at the square if a penny's corruption is proven [against him]. Co-accused Fawad Hassan Fawad proved corruption worth billions. But the law doesn't permit anyone to be hanged upside down!"

'Unfair to insult such a major personality'

Among the first politicians to react was the PML-N's Lahore President Pervez Malik, who said: "Arresting a patriotic human being and such a big political leader is not right. It is very unfair to insult such a major personality who has played such an important role in the development of this nation."

NAB hiding its poor performance: Talat Hussain

Geo News anchor Talat Hussain felt that the arrest was an attempt by the NAB to hide its "poor performance".

Shahbaz paying price for Mashhood's remarks: Bucha

Senior broadcast journalist Sana Bucha believed the recent controversial remarks made by Rana Mashhood "may have played a role" in Shahbaz's arrest.