Some points for NAB Chairman, Shehbaz's consideration

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 05:01 PM, 3 Jun, 2020
Some points for NAB Chairman, Shehbaz's consideration

The man who issued arrest warrants – the NAB chairman – is a former judge of the Supreme Court. The person he wants arrested is Shehbaz Sharif, a three-time former Punjab chief minister and a strong aspirant for prime minister, a role his elder brother Nawaz Sharif performed as many times.

A NAB team raided Model Town and Raiwind residences of Shehbaz Sharif and returned empty-handed.

The raid and the scenes at the raided premises were shown by the electronic media for hours and hours on Tuesday.

A number of questions come to mind about the NAB’s capability and the PML-N president’s conduct.

An institution that is supposed to gather information about “hidden assets” at home and abroad of corrupt elements could not trace Shehbaz Sharif in Lahore despite all intelligence sources it has!!!

Just unbelievable. And those trusting the claims that NAB is working to make Pakistan a corruption-free society will have to review their thinking.

The ‘performance’ seen on Tuesday justifies criticism by those raising fingers at the capability as well as working of the anti-corruption watchdog.

The raids were carried out when the former chief minister failed to appear before the NAB despite being issued notices for his answers in assets beyond means and money-laundering cases. He sent a letter to the NAB expressing his fears about corona but expressed willingness to answer questions through video-link.

The conduct of the head of the biggest opposition party is equally questionable.

He must be watching at some secret place whatever was being reported by TV Channels. He was also being constantly informed by his party leaders about whatever was going on to apprehend him.

Propriety demanded that he should have acted like a role model for the nation and surrendered to law.

He could have challenged his arrest in court to get relief.

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday allowed him interim bail for two weeks and disallowed the NAB to arrest for two weeks.

Shehbaz Sharif would have raised his political stature by miles – and been appreciated even his opponents – if he had courted arrest on Tuesday and got relief from the court a day later - Wednesday.

After all it was these courts that had allowed former premier Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment although very serious charges are pending against him. Also, it was these very courts that granted Shehbaz bail in various cases.

His Tuesday’s conduct is reflective of a steep decline in values and thinking of politicians.

There was a time when politicians regarded handcuffs as ornaments for themselves and jails as their second home.

They were prepared to be arrested anytime even on baseless charges. But they always stuck to their principles – not willing to strike a deal at any cost.

Shortcuts have never been their consideration.

This is a new thinking. Somebody doesn’t want to be arrested on one pretext or the other but at the same time he wants to take the highest seat of power at the earliest possible.

As businessman Shehbaz Sharif must know that you make profits only when you make investments. Thinking of skimming profits without any investment is the mindset of dubious characters.

The former chief minister should also not forget that his son – Hamza – is facing no problem in NAB custody.

Whenever the Punjab Assembly session is convened, the speaker issues production orders for him and he participates in all sessions. He is hale and hearty and gets full media coverage for all his activities.

This is enriching his political credentials. He is portraying himself as an innocent victim of the NAB.

The NAB chairman is also advised to review the performance of his institution.

When arrest orders for Shehbaz Sharif had been issued on May 28, there was no urgency on June 2 to arrest the accused, especially when it had ben reported that the PML-N president has already moved the court for bail and the petition is fixed for hearing on Wednesday.

Waiting for a court order before taking the next step would have been a better option for the NAB.

But the NAB Chairman knows better why he misses no opportunity to be reviled by opposition leaders for victimizing the Sharifs.

The NAB working should reflect that it is headed by a Supreme Court judge.

Categories : Opinion