ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will approach the superior courts if the National Accountability Bureau chief Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari persists in his refusal to reopen graft cases involving politicians before the general elections.
Bokhari had said on Saturday that no such cases could be reopened, since elections were around the corner.
“The NAB chief does not have any right to stop proceedings in any (political) case,” said PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a statement on Sunday, adding that his party reserves the right to go to the courts regarding the issue.
“A top accountability institution should initiate an impartial inquiry into all such political cases…it should not be held back by the possibility of general elections approaching or any other political concern,” emphasised PTI Secretary Information Shafqat Mehmood while talking to The Express Tribune.
“Various options are open for us including the alternative to resort to the courts. We will take up this case if NAB relents,” he added.
According to a statement issued by the PTI chairman, NAB chief has made everything ‘clear’ by asserting that he had been asked specifically by President Asif Ali Zardari not to open cases involving the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership.
The government had earlier filed a reference against the Sharif brothers in a money laundering case, directing NAB authorities to formally initiate an inquiry into how around $32 million had been ‘siphoned off’ in PML-N’s second government during 1997-99.
The reference had been filed in NAB as well as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by the then interior minister Rehman Malik.
However, PAC had rejected the reference, on the basis that it did not fall under its ambit.
In his statement, Imran further stated that the people of Pakistan want a powerful accountability bureau, which can initiate political cases against any powerful politician.
“It seems as if the NAB chief has ‘promised’ to take it easy on Nawaz Sharif, while it is the nation’s wealth that has been plundered,” said Imran.
The top accountability forum’s duty is to aggressively pursue all such cases, he maintained.
“The argument that since elections are near, no further cases can be opened against politicians appears to be very ‘strange’,” the statement pointed out.
Rather, a thorough inquiry into all the graft cases becomes all the more necessary in an election year, it maintained.
On the other hand, PML-N leaders have maintained it throughout that the party is willing to face any case involving alleged corruption by its leaders, and that the NAB should go ahead with its probe.
“We have already rejected the allegations, terming these a pack of lies,” said PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan, while talking to The Express Tribune a few days ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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