Friday Nov 09, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The opposition on Friday slammed the "media trial" conducted by the director general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore during his television appearances and submitted a privilege motion in the National Assembly.
Later during the day, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other senior PML-N leaders addressed the media and spoke about the DG NAB's interviews which they termed it a form of "political revenge".
“It has become clear what NAB is doing. It's pretty simple what's happening but if I say it then a NAB case will be formed," the PML-N leader said while addressing the media.
"A NAB official is conducting media trial of MNAs on the directions of the accountability watchdog's chairman."
Stating that a privilege motion has been submitted in NA, Abbasi said, "We don't want those who are on government payroll to hold people accountable."
“NAB is being used to control politics,” he added. Further, he said, "NAB officials are saying the same things that ministers are."
The former premier regretted, “Today, people are being defamed which is an attempt to take political revenge."
Abbasi further said, "Only one party is being targeted and it's name is PML-N.” Upholding that they want accountability but not revenge, Abbasi said, "We are not scared of accountability and want the process of accountability to start from PML-N."
"The NAB chairman should contact me and I will give him two cases to look over,"the former premier stated.
Abbasi continued, "The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly is under arrest and the DG NAB shared details of his case on television. However, there was no truth in the details he shared."
"If NAB wants to conduct a media trial then they should make us sit with them and conduct it," he added.
The former premier lamented, "Allegations are levelled without any evidence by NAB officials and this is truly strange."
"We hope a suo motu notice will be taken of the issue," the former premier said.
"Actions that were not taken by dictators are being taken by the current government," Abbasi asserted.
Regarding reports that DG NAB Lahore holds a fake degree, Abbasi said, "If he does, then he should be held accountable."
Citing a breach of the privilege of the members of the opposition in the National Assembly, the motion objected to the “media trial” of the opposition members and urged “immediate intervention” of the House.
“Mr Saleem Shehzad, DG NAB Lahore with the consent of the Chairman NAB has appeared on the following TV programs of which the documentary evidence is available,” reads the motion, listing a number of TV programs which interviewed the NAB official.
“He has conducted a media trial of opposition members, attempted to influence the so-called cases against the members of the National Assembly, provided details of the matters that are sub-judice, revealed details of confidential and secret NAB documents and maligned the reputation of the members of the Parliament,” the motion states.
“This matter requires the immediate intervention of the National Assembly and should be taken today,” it added.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) supported the motion submitted by PML-N.
PPP leader Naveed Qamar said, "If we allow media trials now then the process will continue. Today, it is PML-N leaders and tomorrow it will be someone else."
Qamar questioned, "Are media trials NAB's policy now?"
DG NAB Lahore Shehzad Saleem appeared on Geo News' show 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath' on Thursday night, where he said that the anti-corruption watchdog would file a reference against Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif by the end of this month.
The official also accused Shehbaz's son-in-law Ali Imran of depositing official cheques in his personal account.
He said that a case registered against Punjab minister Aleem Khan was being investigated. Some documents were required from abroad in the case relating to Khan and a verdict would be announced once those documents were received, he added.
Shehzad further said that if needed in any case, Chaudhry brothers and Moonis Ilahi would be taken into custody.