ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday lashed out at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and demanded that the bureau prove its impartiality.
The PPP warned that the arm-twisting of its leadership would not help the ‘king’s party’ and such tactics would be resisted with force. Similarly, the PML-N castigated NAB over political victimisation.
Speaking at a news conference, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that NAB had always indulged in politics as in the past it created Patriots group. Similarly, in the 1990s the accountability commission (Ehtesab Commission) cooked up cases against Asif Ali Zardari though in the end courts exonerated him.
“Now once again NAB is being used for arm-twisting. NAB has not only issued notices to Mr Zardari and Faryal Talpur but also summoned Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in a case of land which was purchased in 1997 and transferred through court. Bilawal was only one year old when Park Lane Company, through which the land was purchased, was established,” he said.
Mr Bukhari reminded that the PPP had faced a number of dictators, but had never succumbed to them.
Former Senator Farhatullah Babar alleged that NAB was a political institution and was being used for political engineering. He suggested that NAB rules be amended and accountability should be done across the board.
“Whenever Bilawal Bhutto holds a public meeting or a press conference, the next day a notice is issued to him,” he said.
Senator Maula Bakhsh Chandio said that there was no difference between NAB and Saifur Rehman’s commission. He said the PPP was quite capable of resisting and going for agitation, but it didn’t want to derail democracy. He demanded NAB and its head prove their impartiality.
Talking to newsmen after a meeting of heads of the Opposition Alliance, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif said that the truth behind vengeful political victimisation by the PTI government is the “NAB-Niazi Unholy Alliance” which is the worst and most ruthless civilian dictatorship ever witnessed in Pakistan.
He said the opposition strongly condemned the witch-hunt.
The meeting was attended by PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rana Tanveer, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Dastgir and Ayad Sadiq, PPP’s Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Shazia Marri and Naveed Qamar, ANP’s Amir Haider Khan Hoti and MMA’s Maulana Asad Mahmood and Maulana Abdul Wasey.
The PML-N president said that all opposition parties were unequivocally united over the stance of appointing the opposition leader as head of the Public Accounts Committee. The government’s argument in this regard has no basis whatsoever.
Mr Sharif said the NAB’s double standards and partisan behaviour were clearly exposed through the Chiniot Iron-Ore Project in which the court ordered NAB to act strictly against the perpetrators, but it not only sat on that order but also gave a clean-chit to those involved.
He claimed that he had solid evidence of how the Pervez Musharraf and Pervaiz Elahi government sold off national assets worth $4 billion. He said his government fought the case of Pakistan for two and a half years and was eventually successful in retrieving this sacred trust of the people of Pakistan, managed exploitation and excavation of mineral resources and now the project was successfully in its third phase.
Mr Sharif said that he was told by PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf that Bilawal was served a notice for being the founder of a company which was created when he was one-year old.
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government faced no political challenge as main opposition leaders Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari had already contested their last elections.
Talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, he said that the challenges being faced by the present government were governance and economy and pragmatic steps were being taken to improve those.
According to APP, Fawad Chaudhry said that history was created on Monday by holding a special meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the performance of ministries.
He said as per vision of the prime minister and his economic team, tax net would be widened so that the dependence on foreign loans should be ended.
Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2018