–Shah urges NAB chief to take notice of officials’ behaviour, says female members of family were forced to sign ‘something’
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday lashed out at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team for misbehaving with the family members of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani following his arrest, and regretted that he was unable to protect the family from harassment despite being the provincial chief executive.
Addressing a press conference, the Sindh CM questioned why a NAB team felt the need to “raid” Durrani’s house after his arrest if they already had evidence against him and had arrested the speaker.
Durrani is facing an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income as well as for allegedly embezzling public funds and was arrested by NAB officials in Islamabad in a surprise raid.
Following his arrest, NAB had obtained three-day transit remand of the PPP leader.
The Sindh CM alleged that NAB officials had “scaled the walls” of Durrani’s house and “broken the gates to the residence when there was no male member of the family present at home, just Durrani’s wife, three daughters and daughter-in-law”.
He alleged that the NAB raiding team remained in Durrani’s house for over five hours, adding that he had tried to speak to the NAB chairman to defuse the situation but was unsuccessful.
Shah said that Wednesday night at around 10:30pm, at which point those who entered Durrani’s house had already been there for five hours, he spoke to “some people” who told him they would leave in five minutes. However, after this it still took them a further one and a half hours to leave, he alleged.
He claimed that they made the speaker’s daughter sign something. “Who knows what they took [from the house]?” he asked. The CM added that the Durrani family had not yet been given a seizure memo, which he said would be presented in court.
According to the chief minister, a subordinate had “blown cigarette smoke” at one of Durrani’s daughters.
“Would you tolerate such behaviour, how will we tolerate it?” he asked.
While addressing the NAB Chairman, Shah said his subordinates were ruining his name as well as that of the institution.
He noted that the NAB chairman had remained a respectable judge of the Supreme Court and knew about the law and added that the chairman should fix his own house first.
He asked the chairman to take action against those who behaved in this manner.
Shah said that a Sindh Assembly session had been called on Friday at 2pm to protest Durrani’s arrest and the treatment of female members of his family.
Shah also noted that the acting speaker of the Sindh Assembly had issued the production orders for Durrani, which he was entitled to as an MPA.
He called on the NAB chairman to fulfill the constitutional requirement and permit Durrani to participate in the Sindh Assembly session scheduled for Friday.
The chief minister said that they were not shying from facing accountability. He said his party would use the legal avenues available to them and also had a right to protest wrongdoings.
“But to humiliate someone, especially to humiliate a family, is an act below humanity,” he said, adding that NAB employees had done so and ruined the name of NAB as an institution.
In a letter to the Director General of NAB Karachi, the secretary of the Sindh Assembly noted that the speaker had summoned Durrani to attend the session of the provincial assembly set to start tomorrow and asked the bureau to ensure his production.