LAHORE: National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting chairman Mian Javed Latif says the committee will summon the National Accountability Bureau chairman and the prime minister’s adviser on accountability in connection with the Broadsheet scam that caused a loss of millions in foreign exchange in the name of ‘dubious’ accountability.
“The parliamentary committee will certainly call the NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal and the prime minister adviser on accountability Shahzad Akbar despite concerns of the ruling PTI members,” Mr Latif told a presser here on Friday.
He said the NAB chairman was responsible for any matter related to its institution and he should be asked to explain his role in this scam. He claimed that Federal Information Minister Shibli Fraz in the standing committee’s meeting had agreed on summoning the NAB chairman but backtracked later.
“PTI MNA Farukh Habib left the committee meeting after he had a phone call from ‘someone’. I don’t know who called him. After that he wrote down his dissenting note regarding summoning the NAB chairman. The attitude of Shibli Fraz also changed then as he was also not in favour of calling the NAB chairman in the parliamentary committee ,” Mr Latif said and added that all those related to this scam would be called in the parliamentary committee. Javed Latif further said if the opposition felt the need it might take this matter to the Supreme Court. “If this matter does not meet its logical end, the PML-N will take it to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for consultation to be moved to the apex court,” he declared.
With the opposition rejecting the appointment of retired Justice Azmat Saeed as head of the Broadsheet scandal inquiry committee, Twitter was also flooded with the same demand on Friday.
“#BiasedAzmatSaeedRejected” was the number one trend on Twitter on Friday evening with about 50,000 tweets mostly demanding the former judge of the Supreme Court’s removal from the inquiry committee.
The opposition especially PML-N appeared quite active in fighting its case on social media. “Panama Papers case JIT fame & Shaukat Khanum Board of Governors member Azmat Saeed, who was also on NAB panel when Broadsheet deal was done was appointed by Imran Khan to investigate Broadsheet scam. This proves that Imran Khan wants to protect NAB & himself,” says PML-N’s social media wing.
Known anchor Hamid Mir tweeted: “One can go to the SKMT website and see the last name of Justice (Retd) Azmat Saeed in the list of board of governors. Why is a retired Supreme Court judge unable to understand the `conflict of interest’? Why did he agree to become head of a committee to investigate Broadsheet Scandal?”
PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan said: “It is better to make Shahbaz Gill head of the commission as there is hardly a difference between him (Gill) and Azmat Saeed.”
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2021