Senate deputy chairman firm on privilege motion against NAB officials

Published December 1, 2020
Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala on Monday announced that he would continue to pursue the privilege motion he has submitted to the Senate Secretariat against NAB  chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal. — Dawn/File
Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala on Monday announced that he would continue to pursue the privilege motion he has submitted to the Senate Secretariat against NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: Despite getting a direct assurance from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal to personally look into his complaints, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala on Monday announced that he would continue to pursue the privilege motion he has submitted to the Senate Secretariat against the former.

The announcement was made by Mr Mandviwala after a meeting with the NAB chairman at the latter’s office, a day after he lashed out at the anti-corruption watchdog for allegedly committing serious human rights violations and extorting money from people through blackmailing and using the name of the army.

“We have decided to requisition the special session of the Senate on one-point agenda of taking up my privilege motion,” Mr Mandviwala said while talking to Dawn after his meeting with the NAB chairman.

He said “all the senators” would requisition the session and vote on his privilege motion.

Says if NAB chairman doesn’t appear before committee, warrants for his arrest will be issued

Replying to a question, Mr Mandviwala said that if the NAB chairman did not appear before the Senate committee, his arrest warrants would be issued.

The Senate deputy chairman said that he had apprised the NAB chairman as to how various NAB officials were “picking up the people and forcing them to have a plea bargain deal”.

He further said that he had informed the NAB chairman that he would continue to highlight the NAB’s wrongdoings and pursue the matter till the end of such actions.

Mr Mandviwala, who belongs to opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said the NAB chairman during the meeting also tried to talk about cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari. However, he said, he categorically told the NAB chairman that he had nothing to do with the cases against Asif Ali Zardari or Nawaz Sharif.

In response to a query, he said that he had gone to the NAB Headquarters to meet the NAB chairman after receiving a telephone call from the latter. He said that he had already stated in his Sunday’s news conference that he would meet the NAB chairman, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and apprise them as to “how the people are being blackmailed and what situation the country is facing”.

He said the NAB chairman must take notice of the situation and he must know how officials under him were blackmailing the people by putting them in NAB cells. He said no one was against the accountability process but such practices should come to an end.

The Senate deputy chairman said the NAB chairman had assured him that he would take action against those NAB officials who would make threatening telephone calls to the people.

“I have asked NAB chairman to distance himself from such people and suspend, sack or order inquiries against these officials,” he said.

Mr Mandviwala, whose three-year term as the Senate deputy chairman is ending in March 2021, said that he had also told the NAB chairman about the activities of NAB Rawalpindi director general Irfan Mangi.

“I told him (the NAB chairman) that Mangi has become the biggest terrorist of Islamabad and he has terrorised entire Pakistan. He openly says that even the NAB chairman cannot remove him. If your DG is more powerful than you then something is wrong and then we will have to remove him,” he declared.

He alleged that NAB was not interested in completing the references and it was only interested in blackmailing the people and forcing them to do plea bargain.

An official handout issued by NAB says that the deputy Senate chairman apprised the NAB chairman about his case pending before the bureau’s Rawalpindi office.

“The NAB chairman listened to the point of view of Mr Mandviwala very patiently and said he had already sought complete record of the case from NAB Rawalpindi and he will himself examine the case in detail as per law,” says the handout.

The NAB chairman told Mr Mandviwala that the bureau respected parliamentarians and believed in protecting their self-esteem.

“The record of Mr Mandviwala’s case has already been sought to examine the case on merit and justice will be done as per law,” he added.

The NAB chairman on Sunday halted the proceeding of the fake bank accounts case against Mr Mandviwala immediately after the latter lashed out at the anti-corruption watchdog during a news conference.

Terming NAB a “blackmailing and extortion organisation”, he alleged that the accountability watchdog

was violating human rights and he would highlight NAB’s human rights violations at every international forum.

Mr Mandviwala had held the news conference five days after NAB informed an accountability court that it had frozen 3.1 million shares of different companies registered in the name of Mr Mandviwala with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in connection with the fake accounts case.

Mr Mandviwala had particularly targeted NAB Rawalpindi director general Irfan Naeem Mangi and alleged that Mr Mangi openly claimed that he had complete backing of the army and no one could remove him from this position.

He alleged that NAB officials were pressurising him and his family members, asking them to force former managing director of Pakistan International Airlines Ijaz Haroon, also an accused in the case, to make a plea bargain deal with them.

About his case, Mr Mandviwala said he had made money transactions with the army on a project which was being carried out at the land of Mangla Corps and the NAB officials were not disclosing before the court that he had made transactions with the army.

Hours after Mandviwala’s presser, NAB issued a handout stating that the NAB chairman had taken notice of Mr Mandviwala’s accusations and immediately sought complete record of the case from NAB’s Rawalpindi office.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2020

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