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NAB chief’s remarks

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has claimed that National Accountability Bureau was targeting opposition political leaders. According to reports, the former prime minister said that NAB was defaming politicians through baseless allegations.  He added that it was ironic to note that Aleem Khan was granted bail, while Ahad Cheema was not. He said that the NAB chairman should not give any statement, which reflected favour or discrimination towards any party. “In an interview, Justice (r) Javaid Iqbal said that Ahad Cheema’s arrogance had caused his downfall. One should not be arrogant, but is arrogance a crime?” he asked. Abbasi said that the NAB chairman had claimed that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif were seeking a deal and were ready to return the money. He further added that the NAB chairman had claimed Shehbaz had offered to retire from politics. However, the PML-N leader never even met him. He said that the character assassination campaign must stop now and the economy is in tatters and a big share of responsibility for it rests with the NAB. Abbasi said that it seemed accountability was only for the PML-N.  “Whoever wants to save himself should join the government. It is sad to say that NAB is not an autonomous body and is being used as the government’s instrument to put opposition leaders behind bars. NAB is using all of its resources to ensure that Nawaz Sharif remains in jail over bogus charges,” he said.  On the other hand, the federal cabinet was of the opinion that the opposition should respond to the NAB queries and stop playing hide and seek with the institution that was working in accordance with the law and Constitution. After the interview of Chairman NAB and his presser, major opposition parties have again criticized the conduct of NAB on ongoing accountability process. PPP leadership hinted to take legal action against NAB chief. Opposition parties have been showing severe reservations on NAB’s accountability process. The corruption is a big barrier in the way of progress and development of the country and it needs proactive and impartial body to curb this nuisance. The prevailing circumstances suggest that there is room to improve this anti-corruption institution for fair, impartial and inclusive accountability but these political parties have failed to improve NAB law during their tenures in the government.  The NAB chief should keep himself uncontroversial. He should take step to make NAB impartial body for accountability and acceptable for all.

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