A baffling style of accountability | Pakistan Today

A baffling style of accountability

  • Punishing the corrupt or maligning  the political class?

The National Assembly sitting on Thursday was adjourned after opposition members protesting the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani raised a ruckus in the House. They questioned the humiliating way the  Sindh Assembly Speaker was “dragged and forcibly shoved into a vehicle” as  Leader of the Opposition Khurshid  Shah put it,  calling the treatment “condemnable, shameful and insult of this Parliament”. He pointed out that while there are many leaders facing references, it was only the Sindh Assembly Speaker who was arrested in a humiliating way.

Uneasy questions are being raised on the way the accountability process is  being conducted. Two parties, the PML-N and PPP, are  presently the main target of NAB.

But will accountability remain confined to these only? PTI leader Aleem Khan is already  in  NAB’s custody.  Rumors are rife  about the Choudharis of Gujrat also to be soon summoned by  NAB. On the accountability body’s backburner are enquiries about several PTI bigwigs that can be activated whenever  a need is felt.

What is the real  purpose of accountability? To punish the corrupt politicians or to malign and vilify  the political class as a whole by  painting all with the same brush?

If the NAB is serious about punishing the corrupt it should collect actionable evidence, build a strong case and get the accused  punished. The NAB prefers to arrest the politicians before collecting evidence and prepares weak cases. It initiates then a media trial  against those arrested.

Months before his retirement former CJ Saqib Nisar put the rhetorical question, “Is everybody except NAB a thief?” He also said  that NAB begins disrespecting people after it receives a single application.

How come NAB chief could make the farcical allegation that several billion dollars of remittances were sent by Nawaz Sharif from Pakistan to India as a part of a massive money-laundering scheme? The allegation was immediately  rejected by World Bank. That a baseless news was used without confirmation to disgrace a national leader reveals that naming and shaming was more important than prosecuting.

This leads to the uneasy question whether there is a plan behind what is going on in the name  accountability?