Money laundering probe against Nawaz pre-poll rigging: Abbasi

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Asks House to ‘summon NAB chief’ to clear his position

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi Wednesday strongly censured National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for initiating a probe against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, involving money laundering of $ 4.9 billion.
A parliamentary committee should be constituted to investigate the allegations as it is our obligations and right to present facts before the masses, he said while speaking in the National Assembly. He said the committee should summon the Chairman and other officials of the NAB and seek evidence and relevant record from them in support of their allegations.
The Prime Minister said these are very serious allegations which have brought bad name to the country. Therefore, the evidence even prima facie should be sought from the NAB Chairman and facts should be presented before the parliament and the masses.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also urged the opposition to consider bringing amendments to the Accountability Law. He said the political parties had already agreed to some amendments and further debate or a meeting should be held to move forward the process.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the institution of NAB was established by a military dictator to change the loyalties of members and break up the political parties.
Shahid Khaqan Abbassi regretted that the political parties failed to make the NAB such an institution which fulfills the requirements of justice and play its due role against corruption.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that several NAB cases are being heard against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but he does not expect justice being delivered in the cases.
He noted that justice must not only be done but it must also be seen to be done.
The Prime Minister said that the allegations levelled against the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also amount to pre-poll rigging.
Earlier, Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan expressed the same sentiments and criticised NAB for launching the money laundering probe against Nawaz Sharif.
Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP said he could understand the prime minister’s concern but he partially disagreed with the idea of summoning the NAB chairman and held it tantamount to interference into NAB affairs. He however said that the PPP will present its stance on the establishment of committee after holding internal consultations.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Asad Umar categorically opposed the suggestion of constituting a committee on the issue. He said that interfering into the affairs of NAB would be tantamount to the murder of justice and accountability in the country. “NAB is fulfilling the role that the Finance Ministry should have played on the first day the report came out,” he said.
Mahmoud Khan Achakzai supported the idea of constituting the committee saying if the allegations proved wrong, action should be taken against the NAB Chairman.

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