PML-N demands disbanding of NAB

Updated 22 Jul 2020

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PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafiq addresses the press conference as other leaders of his party look on.—Online
PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafiq addresses the press conference as other leaders of his party look on.—Online

ISLAMABAD: Senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday called for disbanding the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), saying it has become a tool in the hands of the government for political engineering and victimisation of political opponents.

Speaking at a press conference here after a joint parliamentary party meeting of the PML-N, party’s senior vice president and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there was no justification for NAB to continue functioning after the Supreme Court’s verdict in the case of PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafiq and his brother Salman Rafiq.

PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal, former defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Saad Rafiq also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, the joint parliamentary party meeting adopted a resolution, hailing the Supreme Court decision and observing that NAB and the law under which it had been formed had lost their credibility after findings of the apex court about the bureau’s performance and functioning. The meeting said the NAB chairman should resign.

Joint parliamentary party meeting hails SC decision which criticises accountability laws

It noted that the narration of facts by the superior judiciary in any civilised society is not less than a charge-sheet. It was stressed that both NAB and the NAB law should be abolished in the light of the supreme court’s verdict.

The government was asked to start a legislative process so that a transparent accountability law could be enacted in accordance with the demands of the constitution, law and justice.

The meeting noted that the NAB law should not be used for breaking political parties, switching loyalties and arm-twisting of political opponents.

In a scathing judgement on Monday, the Supreme Court criticised the accountability laws of the country, saying these laws were being used as a tool to ‘arm-twist and pressurise’ political opponents into submission and ‘fracturing political parties’.

The remarks were made in a case pertaining to the bail application of Saad Rafiq against his arrest by NAB.

The meeting also expressed concern over record increase in dollar price against the rupee and said it would take the external debt burden to a dangerously high level besides leading to worst poverty, price hike, unemployment and increase in the cost of doing business.

The prime minister was accused of working for mafias and concern was expressed over wheat crisis followed by sugar and petrol crises.

The meeting also expressed concern over unelected advisers running the country’s affairs. About disclosure of dual national advisers, the meeting reminded the prime minister of his previous statements and he was asked to get resignations of such ministers and advisers.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2020