News Desk |
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has rejected the Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf deserved the credit for accountability and not NAB.
On June 19, the minister said in a talk show that “We had promised accountability. All those who had to be held accountable, we held them accountable successfully.” The talk show host Hamid Mir promptly interrupted the minister and asked, “Are you responsible for accountability, or is it NAB?”
“No, we are [responsible]. Where was NAB before,” Chaudhry replied. He said that the government deserved credibility for accountability and not the anti-corruption watchdog.
NAB Chairman directed the NAB Rawalpindi director general to acquire an attested copy of Chaudhry’s remarks from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) and initiate action against him as per the law.
Later, Mir shared the video clip on twitter saying: “If anyone thinks that NAB doing accountability, then please dispel this impression, because Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry says ‘We are responsible for accountability,’ and that everyone knows who ‘we’ refers to.”
اگر کسی کو یہ غلط فہمی ہے کہ احتساب کا اہم فریضہ “نیب” سرانجام دے رہی ہے تو وہ اپنی غلط فہمی دور کر لے کیونکہ وفاقی وزیر برائے سائینس و ٹیکنالوجی @fawadchaudhry کا کہنا ہے کہ احتساب تو ہم کر رہے ہیں اور ہم کا مطلب سب سمجھتے ہیں pic.twitter.com/HnX5QQw3CZ
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) June 19, 2019
Shortly, Chaudhry replied to Mir on twitter saying it was Prime Minister Imran Khan who has introduce the culture of accountability as earlier, parties would openly say in public gatherings that “if one plunders, at least one also puts money into development”. In his tweet, he said, institutions existed before too, but no one considered corruption a bad thing.
جی با لکل عمران خان نے اس ملک میں کرپشن کیخلاف بیانیہ بنایا ورنہ یہاں تو کرپشن کوئ معاملہ نہیں تھا جلسوں تک میں کہتے تھے “کھاتا ہے تو لگاتا بھی ہے” یہ میراث PTI نے ختم کی اور احتساب کا کلچر لے کے آئے، ورنہ ادارے تو پہلے بھی تھے لیکن کرپشن کو برائ کوئ سمجھتا ہی نہیں تھا۔ https://t.co/Xydg2Mm9Ei
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 19, 2019
NAB’s Press Release
On June 21, NAB’s press release stated that the body had taken notice of the minister’s comments on the television show, and rejected his statement as being contrary to facts.
According to the press release, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal directed the NAB Rawalpindi director general to acquire an attested copy of Chaudhry’s remarks from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) and initiate action against him as per the law.
The anti-corruption body said that Chaudhry’s comments not only tarnished the image of NAB but also invalidated the contributions of NAB officials who consider the elimination of corruption a national duty and have been discharging their duties with honesty and hard work.
“The said statement of the minister can influence and create hurdles in the ongoing investigations in NAB. It is worth mentioning that the government has never sent a reference to NAB for accountability,” the statement read.
Third Notice Means Business
The News reported that the instant notice is the third NAB notice to Chaudhry in the last six months, adding that the previous two notices were not about taking any action against the federal minister and the NAB chairman had only rebutted the statements.
Read more: Is NAB working independently?
However, the paper said, this time Chaudhry has not only tried to discredit the NAB as an institution and given an impression that it is the PTI government that has been carrying out the process of accountability but hurt the NAB officials.
“The NAB will summon the minister to clarify his statement. His statement is a clear-cut violation of NAB Ordinance and if the minister fails to satisfy, appropriate action will be taken against him. There is a zero-tolerance policy against any individual who tries to undermine the role of accountability bureau,” the paper quoted a NAB official as saying.