ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has strongly condemned the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over its decision to arrest party leader Hamza Shehbaz from his family home in Lahore, calling it a ‘violation of privacy and the sanctity of four walls’.
In a joint press conference by Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyam Aurangzeb outside the Parliament House, the leaders said that the NAB officials raided the house ‘without a warrant, scuffled with the private security deployed there, and then forcibly entered the premises’.
They said the move was emblematic of the government’s policy of political victimisation, as there was no need to use such tactics of intimidation with someone who was appearing before investigators on a regular basis.
Iqbal said that the premier was petrified of PML-N President and National Assembly Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif.
Criticising the anti-graft body, he said that cases framed and filed against political rivals after the election could not bear any fruit.
Addressing NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, he said that the legacy of Pervez Musharraf, under whose tenure NAB was set up, had already tainted the accountability process. “NAB should not work according to the accountability carried out by General Musharraf,” he said.
The PML-N leaders also criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, saying it had failed to deliver on its pre-election promises to turn the country around.
Ahsan Iqbal said that it made false claims of reducing the prices of electricity, gas and flour and providing jobs.
He said that there was no chance of recovery and growth of Pakistan for three years. “All economic indicators point out that the economic conditions will worsen in the coming three years and to distract attention from this issue, state terrorism is being employed,” he said.
Iqbal said that the Pakistani system was being taken towards one-man rule or a pseudo-monarchy, as Prime Minister Imran Khan refuses to sit with leaders of the opposition. He added that ‘the king will have to step down from his throne’.
NAB makes botched attempt to arrest Hamza
The PML-N leader also asked the premier to first get his own house in order and to think about the people of Pakistan who were facing challenges due to inflation, corruption and poor service delivery.
He also urged him to stop harassing opposition politicians on trumped up corruption charges. “We served the country and returned loans of the previous government but never raised a hue and cry while life was now being made miserable for the nation. The nation cannot be fooled,” he said.
Iqbal said that the government must provide proof of corruption and collusion instead of vilifying them in the media and through the courts. “If it is the opposition that has carried out money laundering then they should be jailed, but why are the 20 million people being punished,” Iqbal said.
Repeating accusations of disparity between NAB’s investigation of government and opposition politicians, he said the anti-corruption watchdog must seek answers from the premier over his lifestyle.