Nawaz threatens action against NAB over harassment of govt officials

Published: February 17, 2016



Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has hit out at the National Accoun­tability Bureau (NAB) for recent raids on government offices and residences of government officials, asking the top corruption watchdog to act ‘responsibly’.

NAB, which operates under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, is tasked to eliminate corruption from Pakistan through a holistic approach involving awareness, prevention and enforcement.

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“NAB needs to take up cases only after thorough initial investigation. No one should be harassed without verification and solid proof,” said the prime minister while addressing a gathering of PML-N’s local government  representatives in Bahawalpur on Tuesday.

Nawaz said he would also take up the matter with the NAB chairman. “If any person is persecuted, then the government will take action.”

Moreover, he said continuity of policies was vital for progress while claiming that Pakistan had seen ‘unprecedented development’ during all his tenures as prime minister. “Had our government completed its second tenure, the overall situation of Pakistan would have been starkly different,” he said referring to the military coup that toppled his government in October 1999.

Nawaz said his administration has always strived to serve the people and recalled his previous two tenures in which, according to him, a number of megaprojects had been initiated.

Referring to his exile during the military rule of Gen Pervez Musharraf, the prime minister said he was forced to ‘stop serving the people’ for 14 long years. “However, I ask you to see the difference and learn from history.”

He blamed previous governments for backwardness in Pakistan. “The previous governments failed in their duty of serving the masses. It was criminal negligence on their part as they failed to address the chronic issue of load shedding,” he said.  Nawaz said governance was not a bed of roses but “we are committed to serving the people of Pakistan”.

The prime minister said when his government came to power in 2013 the country was facing 10-18 hours of power outages that was negatively impacting the industrial and agriculture sectors. However, he said, due to his government’s efforts the situation has improved. “And we will eliminate load shedding by the end of our tenure.” Referring to the victory of the ruling party in the local government elections, the prime minister said he was pleased to see that the PML-N government had maintained its strong support base in the masses halfway through its constitutional tenure.

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The prime minister also lauded the support extended by China in a number of development projects, including the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which, he said, would be a game-changer.  He said he also desired to link Pakistan with the Central Asian Republics, adding that a network of motorways would connect all remote areas of the country. “Despite attempts by some miscreants, the government has completed a motorway in Balochistan.”

The prime minister also mentioned the three major power projects in which the government saved billions of rupees by lowering the cost. These projects would produce 3,600MW of electricity and would be operational by next year.

He said Transparency International had also acknowledged that all these projects were being undertaken in the most transparent manner. He said Chinese companies were building power projects in Pakistan at special concessionary rates, just because of their deep friendship with Pakistan.

The prime minister also credited his government for initiating the landmark deal with China for the production of JF-17 fighter aircraft.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • hamza khan
    Feb 17, 2016 - 8:35AM

    clearly the army’s and COAS’ actions via NAB are starting to pinch and the PM is now emboldened enough to say somethingRecommend

  • Wasi
    Feb 17, 2016 - 9:05AM

    He does not deserves to be PMRecommend

  • Feb 17, 2016 - 9:11AM

    NAB should not harass PMLN the only innocent party of Pakistan.. Recommend

  • Saad Karsaz
    Feb 17, 2016 - 9:18AM

    What is the point of NAB if you restrict their investigationsRecommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 17, 2016 - 9:33AM

    Talk about building institutions.Recommend

  • Ali Khan
    Feb 17, 2016 - 10:03AM

    It should have started years ago . anyhow its not too late to begin. Well done NAB. PM sharif should also be prosecuted for being unfit for the job of premiership as he is suffering from memory loss. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 17, 2016 - 10:25AM

    NS like his predecessor, is justified in saying this since no one likes to be checked or asked questions while they are busy in looting and plundering the country. We as a nation are with you Mr.NS!Recommend

  • Baby Ka Husband
    Feb 17, 2016 - 10:32AM

    As Nawaz Sharif behaving like a King, you can bet that he has given COAS an extension and this will be NS’s price. COAS will be lame duck COAS attending opening ceremonies from now on.Recommend

  • nadeem
    Feb 17, 2016 - 11:58AM

    It may very well be that he has skeletons in the cupboard, but has not NAB been used for political ends in the past? And don’t we know that many times it gets its cue from the Army, which has its own political agenda? (other than simple anti-corruption). So the cloud of suspicion is not only on the head of NS, it is also over the institution that claims to clean up corruption. Recommend

  • Abbas
    Feb 17, 2016 - 12:29PM

    This is wrong NAB should not harass our innocent political elite. Its amazing how our chief can tolerate this in the name of democracy. This country will soon be called
    Islamic Republic of Privatization…….. a question to all is this what we voted for ?Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 17, 2016 - 12:49PM

    In most countries democracy and elections benefit the people… Pakistan they benefit only the leaders.Recommend

  • raider
    Feb 17, 2016 - 6:35PM

    NAB really hindering the way of typical development agenda of pmln, earlier that agenda was forestalled by darnah politics,now wait for advertisement in news paper with gigantic pictures of mian duo explaining the solid reasons of written off loan worth 22 billion, earlier nandipur was cleared by media advertisements by self-appointed Representatives of the govt and inquiry ended up with mian brethren came out of it flying colors but govt was found guilty of the offense Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Feb 17, 2016 - 7:09PM

    While the full thrust of the Rangers’ operation, either directly, through Dr. Asim Hussan, or through corruption-bursting agencies seemed to be against MQM, Peoples Party leaders were quite pleased and satisfied. However, when some of the Peoples Party leaders were also pursued, they raised a hue and cry. Among other things, they even accused the agencies, and not without some justification, of singling out Sindh province while sparing other provinces, especially Punjab. And people even seemed to have lost all hope that Punjab will ever be touched.

    So, it is a bit of pleasant surprise, that anti-corruption campaign has been started in Punjab as well.

    And in the style of the Peoples Party leaders, Nawaz Sharif is up in arms against those who dared touch his officials. And he is even threatening them with action if they do not desist.

    As for the general public, while satisfied with apparent expansion of the net to cover other provinces, it is still not quite sure whether the action in Punjab is merely a move to deflect criticism leveled against the operation being Sindh-specific or it is the start of a meaningful, anti-corruption exercise in Punjab, with no-holds-barred, like it seems to be in Sindh.

    We hear that a JIT has been formed to investigate Uzair Baloch. If pursued vigorously, it could uncover a lot. It would be interesting to see whether the same amount of enthusiasm and vigour will be displayed in probing corruption in Punjab as well. Started late, the Punjab operations has to proceed at a fast pace in order to achieve some meaningful results anytime soon.

    At the moment, one can just sit back, wait and see how things unfold in Punjab, that is if things really unfold in Punjab.

    My only fear is that the big sharks are not let off after paying nominal sums under plea-bargains, given a clean chit, and set free to do it all over again.


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