NAB under fire in Senate as opposition flays its conduct

–Haideri says Fazl won’t appear before NAB: Treasury for using parliament for solving public issues
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed has asked the opposition to use the forum of parliament for resolving issues of people instead of protecting their own interests.
He was speaking on a motion moved by opposition members in the Senate on Friday. The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear that he will never give a national reconciliation ordinance (NRO) to those who looted the national exchequer.
He said the opposition had proposed amendments to 34 out of the 38 provisions of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Act for the closure of the cases against them. He condemned the remarks of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri against the media.
In his remarks, Leader of the House Senator Shehzad Waseem said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government believes in accountability across the board. He said that the people of Pakistan have rejected politics of inheritance at the PDM’s public gathering in Lahore.
Senator Shehzad Waseem said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) only wants to secure NRO from the government to protect their looted money.
The opposition came down hard on NAB as it took up the anti-graft watchdog’s conduct during the Senate session. The point was raised by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior member and Leader of the Opposition in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq. He alleged that the NAB is victimising the political opponents of the government.
Haq maintained that the current trend of the institution will lead to division and disorder in the country. He said that NAB targeted specific people, so much so that even the Supreme Court (SC) termed its conduct one-sided.
“If there is a case against someone, the person is targeted in the media before the court. It is not right to ridicule people by putting them in jail,” Haq said.
Referring to the arrest of acting leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Khawaja Asif, he said the way he was arrested was unethical.
“Khawaja Asif was called during the meeting and was told that some people were here, asking to speak to him. He knew [from that point on] that he could be detained at any time,” the PML-N leader stated.
Addressing the upper house during the session, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Deputy Secretary Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, while referring to the recently initiated NAB inquiry against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said that he will not appear before the institution.
“We will be torn to pieces, but will not appear before NAB. Maulana Fazl’s life is an open book. He said if NAB has to make his arrest, it should do so,” the senator stated.
He underscored that NAB launched a series of revenge attacks in the name of accountability, terming the anti-graft watchdog an ‘institution of blackmail’.
The senior JUI-F leader stated that NAB played with politicians’ honour without any evidence and then imprisoned them.
Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘selectors’, Haideri added that “Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s only crime is that he calls out those who ‘selected’ you. He tells them that politics is for politicians to do, and not you”.
The JUI-F Senator said that it was the government that was defaming the country’s armed forces and not the opposition. “Why do you have to say after everything you do that the army is behind you?” Haideri asked.
PML-N leader Senator Javed Abbasi criticised the government for using NAB as a tool to pressurise the opposition.
PPP Senator Keshoo Bai said the government has no time for the poor people of the country.
Others who participated in the discussion include Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi and Senator Mohsin Aziz.
The House will now meet again on Monday at 3:00 pm.

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