LAHORE: Rejecting Shehbaz Sharif’s remarks that the state institutions were only focused on Punjab, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal said on Wednesday that the anti-graft body’s sun was shining across the country and not just in Punjab.
The Punjab CM, speaking to a Labour Day ceremony in Lahore on Tuesday, had claimed, “We reject the double standards that ignore any corruption outside Punjab,” he maintained and added, “If you have taken the responsibility to eliminate corruption, do it indiscriminately.”
Justice (r) Iqbal responded to the allegations during NAB’s executive board meeting. He said, “There will be no bias in our crackdown on corrupt persons.”
He maintained that the anti-graft body’s investigations were across the board, stating, “NAB does not believe in preferential treatment with anyone.”
The NAB chief further instructed to take all possible measures to arrest fugitives and wanted persons.
Later on, CM Shehbaz continued the back and forth with the NAB chairman, remarking that it was a good sign that NAB’s sun was shining across the country.
Talking to reporters, Punjab CM said 99.9 per cent of loans provided to 12 million people in Punjab were returned, however, certain individuals got billions of rupees loans waived off.
In February, the war of words between the NAB and Punjab government had escalated after the latter accused the anti-graft watchdog’s chief of making frivolous statements regarding non-cooperation by provincial departments, while the former reasserted its claims.
Reacting to a Punjab government statement that criticised NAB chief for making public remarks instead of using official channels, a NAB spokesman said that the bureau wrote four letters to the provincial government seeking record of the investigation of various cases against Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, but it received no response. He said that the letters had come following several verbal requests made by NAB went unnoticed.