Centre-Sindh row

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IT is unfortunate that a purely legal issue is being turned into a controversy to sow seeds of misgiving between Federal and Provincial Government of Sindh. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) briefly detained former Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon on charges of corruption when he landed in Islamabad from Dubai on Saturday and later released him and the issue is now being agitated not only by Sharjeel Memon but the Sindh Government as well.
There is no explanation from NAB as to what was the need for arresting PPP leader if there was no justification to detain him further for legal process. The move served no purpose than muddying political atmosphere and that too at a time when there are many other issues that cause friction and tension between PML-N led Federal Government and PPP-led Government in Sindh and PTI’s Government in KPK. But the PPP too should realise that the man was facing charges of massive corruption and any legal proceedings must not be politicised if we are serious in addressing the menace of corruption and misuse of powers. Investigation by NAB doesn’t mean straight away imprisonment as corruption cases are tried in courts of law and there are also numerous instances of the accused going scot-free after entering into plea bargain with the Bureau. If Prime Minister of the country has offered himself and his family for accountability then others, who never get tired of speaking against corruption and Sharif family, ought not raise hue and cry when they are included in the process. There should not be double standards on the issue of corruption, accountability and everyone accused of wrongdoing must voluntarily go for a fair probe and trial. There should be no escape on the pretext of political victimisation. In this backdrop, statements against federal institutions or Punjab are regrettable especially when the PPP is contemplating plans to re-activate party cadres in the province. We believe that there should be across-the-board accountability and all political parties should cooperate to build credible institutions to cleanse the society of corruption irrespective of their party interests.