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If opposition leader can appear before NAB, so can prime minister: NAB chief Javed Iqbal

Updated January 10, 2019

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NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal addresses at a cheque distribution ceremony. —APP
NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal addresses at a cheque distribution ceremony. —APP

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal said that if "[the] leader of the opposition in National Assembly can appear before the bureau then the leader of the treasury benches [prime minister] has no right to skip the NAB proceedings".

The NAB chairman said this during his visit to the bureau's office in Lahore on Thursday. He rejected the impression that NAB had ever faced "pressure to deal with the ruling regime with a soft approach".

"NAB is not associated with any organisation, political party or any government," he remarked, adding that the accountability watchdog would "never take an excessive or revenge measure".

The chairman added that NAB is only loyal to Pakistan and its people. "If someone has committed a crime then he will have to face the consequences. No one can stop NAB from taking legal action," he added.

He said NAB will never become a party to any National Reconciliation Ordinance. "All politicians are equal in the eyes of NAB."

"NAB is the only institution which succeeded in arresting corrupt elements and recovered looted money to the tune of Rs297 billion," the chairman said.

Moreover, the bureau has imposed a ban on the foreign travelling of all NAB officers with immediate effect, except for the performance of Umra.

"Making schedules for visits abroad and reservation of tickets has also been stopped without the approval of ex-Pakistan leave by the competent authority," read a statement issued by NAB.

Shahbaz skips accountability court hearing

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif skipped hearing of the case pertaining to Ramzan Sugar Mills in the Lahore's accountability court.

At the onset of the hearing, the counsel for Sharif told the court that his client was in Islamabad as a medical board had conducted a checkup of Sharif on Jan 2 and refrained him from travelling.

The judge, Syed Najamul Hassan, directed the NAB prosecutor to submit the reference against Sharif in the next hearing.