ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday declared that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the country could not go together.

Talking to reporters after appearing before NAB Headquarters in a case related to the appointment of Khalid Sajid Khokhar as managing director of the Mineral Development Corporation, Mr Abbasi sarcastically said the bureau officials believed that all the appointments he had made in his capacity as the country’s prime minister were wrong except the appointment of their own chairman.

He said whole Pakistan was today saying that the appointment of the present NAB chairman was ‘wrong’.

“The country cannot be run in this way. Either you (the government) run NAB or the country,” he said while lashing out at the PTI government for allegedly using NAB for political engineering and opponents’ victimisation.

Mr Abbasi said he had told the NAB he had appointed a qualified person as the company’s MD following the set procedure.

He alleged that the NAB officials failed to tell him as to which rules he had violated in making the appointment. He said it was because of NAB’s controversial actions that today almost all the top positions in the petroleum ministry were lying vacant. He also challenged the NAB’s jurisdiction in the case, stating that it fell in the purview of Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as a regulator.

Published in Dawn, October 1st , 2020