ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Accountability Bureau Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday expressed his inability to show up for a parliamentary committee meeting citing a ‘short-notice’ and his already ‘scheduled official commitments’ for the day.
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice had summoned Chairman NAB to appear before it to clarify the issue of initiation of a controversial inquiry against deposed premier Nawaz Sharif by the bureau into allegations of alleged money laundering to India.
Through an official correspondence, the Chairman NAB informed the panel that since he already had a hectic schedule for the day including a meeting of the NAB’s Executive Board.
Iqbal sought an exemption requesting the chairman of the committee to reschedule his appearance. Accepting his request, the committee rescheduled the meeting for May 22.
On May 8, NAB released a press statement announcing to initiate a complain verification against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for money laundering US$4.9 billion to India. After the controversy arises, the NAB on May 9 released another press release saying it had treated a three-month old column of a writer published in a daily Urdu newspaper as a complaint against Sharif. In column, the writer has alleged that Sharif is involved in money laundering.
The issue was also raised in National Assembly where the PML-N lawmakers demanded to summon the chairman NAB before relevant committee of the House to clarify the situation.
On Wednesday the lawmakers appeared divided over the issue of summoning Chairman NAB to the committee. The PTI legislators including Dr Arif Alvi and Ali Muhammad Khan criticized the move saying it’s tantamount to intervene in the affairs of the bureau and to pressurize the anti-corruption watchdog.
Dr Arif Alvi suggested that Nawaz Sharif should also be summoned before the committee for his recent controversial remarks about Mumbai attacks. State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry said Nawaz Sharif would have no issue to appear before the parliamentary panel as since last many months he had been appearing before an accountability court.
Later the meeting concluded without discussing any other agenda item.