National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal on Tuesday, while addressing an event in Islamabad, said that while multiple people were sharing a single hospital bed in the country, there were others who were going abroad — "London or US" — for treatment "if they get a cold".
"Are the rest not humans [...] God has created everyone equal," he said.
The chairman did not refer to anyone in particular but his remarks come only hours after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif departed from Lahore to London for medical treatment. The PML-N supremo, who has been diagnosed with an immune system disorder, was transported in an air ambulance that arrived at Lahore airport's Haj Terminal early morning from Doha. Nawaz is convicted in two NAB corruption references, acquitted in one and is currently facing a fourth one.
In another apparent critique of opposition political parties, Iqbal said that it was unfortunate that a child had died in his mother's lap due to the unavailability of the rabies vaccine in hospitals. He was referring to a video which went viral on social media in September. It showed a horrific incident in Shikarpur where an 11-year-old child died of rabies in his mother’s lap.
The NAB chairman said that while the child was unable to get the vaccine on time, the budget for the [concerned] government was valued at millions of rupees.
"One province uses its card, the other uses its card. Believe me, this will not have an effect on NAB. NAB has to continue its work," he said.
The NAB chief appeared to be referring to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government in Sindh where multiple cases of death due to dog bites have been reported recently along with reports of shortage of the rabies vaccine.
During his address, Iqbal said that he was not complaining about the criticism levelled against NAB. He, however, urged the people of Pakistan not to look at NAB's actions from the perspective of those who are on the accountability watchdog's radar and facing NAB cases.
"Almost every person, who is on NAB's radar, against whom there is a reference in court, against whom inquiries have been started [..] or investigations have been started, won't say good things about NAB," he said.
The watchdog, particularly over the last one year, has come under criticism by PML-N and PPP for what the political parties call 'selected accountability' of their leadership in connivance with the ruling PTI.