Opposition parties blast NAB actions, table motion in Senate

Raja Zafar says NAB fuelling political tensions: Haideri says Bureau victimizing political opponents: Shahzad says resignations issue is dead now

By: News Desk      Published: 12:47 PM, 1 Jan, 2021
Opposition parties blast NAB actions, table motion in Senate

The Opposition parties in the Senate on Friday tabled a motion in the House about the NAB actions which are poisoning the political atmosphere in the country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said the NAB ‘trend’ is fuelling the political tensions. “The matter should be referred to the relevant committee,” he added.

Raja Zafar said the NAB policies are causing fissures and chaos in the country. “The targeting of an accused on media before the trial is inappropriate. The Supreme Court had also declared such actions as one-sided,” he further said.

Raja Zafar said the NAB is targeting only ‘specific’ people. “The arrest of Khawaja Asif is before everyone, the way he was detained. He was in a meeting and was told some people wanted to meet him outside. Asif already knew he could be arrested anytime,” he added.

Abdul Ghafoor Haideri  

JUI-F top leader Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said on Friday that political opponents were being victimized in the name of accountability, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

Speaking in the Senate, he said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was busy in maligning the politicians without any proof.  

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The senator said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had never been the country’s president or prime minister, and still he was being asked to give money trail. “Maulana’s only crime is that he has the courage to stand up to those who have ‘selected’ Prime Minister Imran Khan. He tells them politics is something which the politicians do; and they have nothing to do with it,” he added. 

Haideri said emphatically that Maulana Fazl would never present himself for accountability come what may.  

He questioned Prime Minister Imran Khan as to why he hid behind the army chief, and thus brought a bad name to the entire institution. 

The senator was of the view that no government could be run by hiding behind the army.  “We do not recognise any such institution like NAB which blackmails politicians,” he said categorically.

Shahzad Waseem

Responding to the Opposition’s onslaught, Leader of the House in Senate Shahzad Waseem maintained that the NAB is an independent institution and the PTI government did not appoint its chairman.

“The NAB should take forward its accountability process without heeding to any political pressure,” he said.

Shahzad said the resignations drama has come to end like the last sunset of 2020. “Senate elections will take place and the PTI will obtain a majority in the Upper House,” he said and added “The Opposition’s movements are aimed at hiding their corruption and get relief.”

Opposition to face defeat in 2021 also: Murad Saeed

Minister for Communications Murad Saeed on Friday said the government had defeated the opposition at political and electoral fronts during the previous year and it would have to face same fate in the year 2021.

“PTI won elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was refused to opposition despite their blackmailing tactics during FATF related legislation and all development indicators improved through effective economic policies of the government during 2020. Such successes would be achieved during the year 2021 and no compromise would be made on public interests,” the minister said while speaking in Senate.

He said that NAB, SECP and FBR were used by the previous regimes against the political opponents and to save the money earned through corruption. The details about misuse of these institutions are mentioned in the judgement of panama case, he added.

Murad Saeed said that transparency and accountability are integral parts in democracy and active media also plays a crucial role by keeping eye on the governance system.

To allege media exposing the deeds of opposition was unfair as the Panama papers were not leaked by Pakistani media, he added.

The minister said that personalities facing allegation after panama papers resigned from their posts but lie was told in Pakistan and even at the Parliament when questions were raised about assets of the rulers.

Instead of giving answers about assets, he said that ‘Qatari letter’ was presented and calibri font issue got revealed while Supreme Court exposed their all misdeeds.

Murad Saeed said the opposition threatened the government instead of giving answers of the questions raised about their corruption.

“BBC aired documentary about properties of Sharif’s in London while articles were published in New York Times but they did not sue them despite laws on it,” he said and alleged the opposition leaders for involvement in plundering money.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted regarding fake accounts and New York Times published news articles regarding Swiss accounts, Surrey palace and other matters. Another foreign media outlet also revealed as how a Co-Chairman of party used to get five percent from the projects initiated during the tenure of Benazir Bhutto and later he became Mr. 100 percent after becoming Minister for Investment, he maintained.

The minister said the amount allocated for development of Sindh were used in fake accounts then transferred to other countries through money laundering. A political leader, he said, had shops, houses and other properties in various cities of the country and he would have to give answers about them.

Murad Saeed said that Imran Khan answered all questions related to his assets and he brought his money back to the country. He said that fair person had no fear from any one and couldn’t be blackmailed.

The minister pointed out the various amendments proposed by the opposition in NAB laws during the discussion on FATF related legislation. He said the government did not get blackmailed by them following which they came on roads to save their money and started campaign against state institutions.

Slogans were raised against Urdu speakers in Karachi, Punjabis in Lahore and people of Balochistan in Quetta but no NRO would be given to them, the minister added.

Senators Keshoo Bai and Usman Kakar criticized the government over its policies and demanded relief measures for the people.

Earlier, leader of the Opposition Raja Zafarul Haq while moving the motion regarding egregious human rights violations and media trails committed by NAB in the House said that media trial of opposition members was being carried out before filing reference in court of law.

They were not to carry out investigation against the accused people but legal and constitutional course should be followed.

He urged the Chair to refer the issue to the committee for detail deliberation.

Taking part in the debate, leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem said no one was above the law and the incumbent government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan practically proved it.

He said a fake case was framed against Imran Khan when he was an opposition leader. Imran Khan presented himself for accountability and placed all documents before the court, he said.

He said the court declared Imran Khan as ‘Sadiq’ and Amin’. Criticizing the opposition, Shahzad Waseem said that fake accounts and companies were opened to plunder the national wealth.

He said Financial Action Task Force (FATF) related legislation was a national issue but the opposition linked their support with provision of NRO.

Dr Shahzad said the people have rejected the politics of opposition. The opposition resignation drama has also flopped.

He said the Senate election would be held and the PTI would emerge victorious with thumbing majority.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haider while taking part in the debate said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was victimizing the opposition members on the pretext of accountability.

Character assassination and media trail of the opposition members were being carried out, he said.

He alleged that anchorpersons were hired for carrying out media trail of the opposition members.

Javed Abbasi strongly criticized the NAB for arresting PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Muhammad Asif and said he was implicated in a false case.

He said NAB could not prove a single case against PML-N lawmakers Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawja Saad Rafique in the court.

He said they were not against the accountability process but it should be across the board.

He alleged that NAB was being used against the opposition members.

Later, the House adjourned to meet again on Monday at 3:00 pm.