PESHAWAR: The incumbent government was heading towards recognition of Israel, alleged Farrukh Habib, the spokesperson for PTI chairman Imran Khan, here on Sunday.

He said that first the government of Imran Khan was toppled under a conspiracy hatched by America and then a Pakistani delegation held meeting with the officials of Israeli government.

“The Israeli president has confirmed the meeting during the World Economic Forum event,” he told a press conference. He was flanked by Special Assistant to Chief Minister Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif and former director general of National Accountability Bureau retired Brigadier Musaddiq Abbasi.

Mr Habib said that government should clarify what was going on in the backdoor diplomacy with Israel. “We are not in favour of recognition of Israel because it has been committing atrocities against the unarmed and innocent Palestinians,” he added.

Farrukh Habib seeks clarification on backdoor diplomacy with Israel

Dawn.com has reported that Israel President Isaac Herzog has said that he recently received a delegation of Pakistani-Americans, calling it an “amazing experience” and referring to it as an example that showed him “great change” vis-a-vis Israel’s ties with the Muslim world.

Herzog delivered these remarks during a special address at the annual World Economic Forum meeting on May 26 in Davos, Switzerland, while talking about the Abraham Accords -- a deal brokered by the United States in 2020 that saw normalisation of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

Mr Habib said that the incumbent government destroyed economy of the country as price hike made life of people miserable. He said that government ‘strangulated’ Federal Investigation Agency by replacing honest officers, who were investigating the corruption cases against the top leaderships sitting in the present government.

“Astonishingly the people involved in corruption are introducing reforms in the anti-corruption laws,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Musaddiq Abbasi said that the current government abolished the independent status of NAB by drastically amending the law.

Mr Abbasi, who also worked as special assistant to former prime minister Imran Khan on accountability, said that the statutory status of NAB was brought down to the level of FIA and anti-corruption establishment.

He said that after major amendments to the law, NAB officials could not lay hands on politicians and bureaucrats involved in irregularities. He that previously, NAB was empowered to intervene in six types of cases related to corruption which the incumbent government reduced to only two.

“The recent amendments to National Accountability Ordinance 1999 will affected all ongoing cases being investigated by NAB,” said Mr Abbasi.

He said that he foresaw that 80 per cent of NAB cases would be transferred to other departments because after the amendments such cases were no more its jurisdiction. He alleged that all thosee sections of the law were abolished by the government under which corruption cases were filed against the politicians sitting in the government.

“Section-14 of the law, under which Nawaz Sharif was convicted in the Avenfield apartment case, is no more part of the law and the entire section has been abolished,” said Mr Abbasi.

He said that section 21-G of the law, which dealt with the evidence provided by the international agencies and foreign countries, was also removed. “Now such evidences will not be entertained in the corruption cases,” he added.

Previously, NAB had the authority to start investigation in any corruption made after 1985 but now the government reduced it to only five years back cases, he said.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2022

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