Friday Nov 09, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday criticised a privilege motion by the opposition in the National Assembly, calling it an “attempt to influence” an ongoing investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Commenting on the motion submitted by the opposition against the various television interviews given by the director general of NAB Lahore, Chaudhry said, “It is not appropriate to move a privilege motion on an ongoing investigation.”
DG NAB Lahore Saleem Shehzad 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.
Citing a breach of the privilege of the members of the opposition in the National Assembly, the opposition leaders submitted a motion which objected to the “media trial” of the opposition members and urged “immediate intervention” of the House.
However, the information minister asserted, “The motion is an attempt to influence the investigation."
Stating that they “will have to see where the matter started from”, Chaudhry said, “The opposition leader in NA [Shehbaz Sharif] gave a speech on the NAB case on the floor of the House.”
“MNAs cannot be treated differently than common people,” he added.
The opposition's privilege motion submitted earlier today had stated, “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."