Sunday Dec 06, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla and other civil society members on Sunday held a press conference to express their grievances against the Nationality Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The deputy chairman of the upper house alleged that many people have died in NAB's custody, which should be investigated.
"Now the senators will hold the NAB accountable. We will approach every foreign ambassador in Pakistan and will expose NAB's atrocities," he said.
Mandviwalla opined that owing to its actions and undue pressure tactics, NAB’s credibility is not strengthening; instead, the institution is getting maligned due to its abrupt decisions.
"Now if the NAB sends a notice to someone, people laugh at their decisions. Their actions have no value now, neither in bureaucracy and judiciary nor in the civil society or among business community members," he maintained.
The deputy chairman added that NAB has committed many atrocities in the past, for example, using intimidation tactics and filing fake arrests.
"Numerous people have lost their lives in their custody. I have a human rights activist with me today who will tell you how rights have been violated by the accountability watchdog," he said.
"This is not a battle between Saleem Mandviwalla and the NAB but this is a battle between NAB and the Senate of Pakistan. Also, every senator in this country — whether he is from the opposition or from the government — has agreed that NAB should be exposed," he claimed.
Mandviwalla added that he, along with other senators, will make sure to investigate the appointment of NAB's Director-General Irfan Mangi and Investigation Officer Mudassar, stating that it will be the first time when a probe will be launched against the NAB.
"We will check the degrees of NAB's employees. It will be the first time when NAB will be accountable and [how these employees] are [leading a lifestyle] beyond their means," he said.
Speaking about the actions that the Senate will take against the bureau, Mandviwalla stressed that no one would be able to stop him from conducting an investigation.
"It is high time we hold such institutions accountable for their deeds and expose them without getting intimidated by them," Mandiwalla said.
He also clarified that the Senate’s move against the National Accountability Bureau is not for a specific individual but against all the injustices that the institution has committed.
"We will not conduct the investigation inside a closed room like them. The trial will be conducted in front of media and facts will be presented in front of everyone," he said.
Answering a question about how people are queuing up outside the Senate to lodge their complaints against the brutalities and inhumane behaviour adopted by the bureau when dealing with the suspects, Mandviwalla said that he will make sure to get the NAB blacklisted, not only in Pakistan but across the world.
"I will again approach Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Opposition to get them on board so that we can pass legislation. As you know that the ordinance was passed by the government to curtail NAB's powers and limit it to only corruption but the ordinance lapsed as there was no consensus between the Opposition and the government in this regard," he informed journalists.
Previously, the senator had said that NAB is involved in "blackmailing people," adding that the National Commission on Human Rights, as well as the Supreme Court, have criticised the bureau for violations.
It should be noted that NAB recently froze Mandviwalla's assets in connection with a fake accounts case. According to a report submitted by the anti-corruption watchdog, Mandviwalla had allegedly bought Benami shares in the name of a person accused in the fake accounts case. Mandviwalla, however, had categorically denied the allegations, calling the case "unfair and prejudicial."
As a result, NAB Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal had taken notice of the allegations levelled by Saleem Mandviwalla and ordered to stop further proceedings on the graft case against him until further orders.