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News Desk l

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) told the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that Operations Director Syed Qaboos Aziz, one of the prime witnesses in the corruption reference against the recently-indicted finance minister, Ishaq Dar has been dismissed from service.

The development came in limelight on Thursday when NAB sent Syed Qaboos Aziz a notice directing him to record his statement and furnish relevant documents in relation to the corruption reference against Ishaq Dar. Aziz is one of the 28 witnesses against the incumbent finance minister. “You are a prosecution witness in the reference. Hence you are requested to be available for recording of evidence along with necessary record in this month on short notice,” the NAB notice read.

Pundits are intrigued as to why institutions which should be independent are acting on the whims of political stalwarts. The continuation of this situation is not conducive to the establishment of a just and democratic polity

NADRA informed NAB that Aziz has been “separated from service” and can be contacted on his residential address while adding that it has appointed a new focal person, Ghazali Zahid. Though NADRA said that Aziz can appear as a witness in his personal capacity, the timing of his termination from service is questionable.

Read more: NAB claims will chase the Sharifs in London as they attempt…

Aziz was dismissed from service on 23rd August, two days after he furnished complete data of Dar and his family which was instrumental in the preparation of reference against the beleaguered minister. The data had enabled NAB to identify some assets aboard. “It is to inform you that your service contract is hereby terminated with immediate effect,” the termination letter read. Thus a 16-year long career was brought to a sudden end without stating any reason.

The PML-N government is well-placed to strengthen the sinews of democracy, its visible tilt against the institution and in favor of individuals is said to be undermining the norms of democracy

It is expected that Aziz will draft an application to the monitoring judge of the Panamagate case, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, against his rustication from service. Questions will be raised as to why an employee was terminated from service without a particular breach of law or the code of conduct. Fingers will be pointed out at the attitude which has pervaded the government: impeding the process of accountability.

The PML-N government has not expedited the process of accountability in NAB; besides openly supporting the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif in his corruption references, it has allowed the indicted Dar to continue as finance minister. Efforts have not been made to ensure that the Nawaz Sharif, his family and Ishaq Dar face the process of accountability as any ordinary citizen would. Nawaz Sharif is back to rule the roost in the PML-N.

Read more: NAB: National or Nawaz’s Accountability Bureau?

Much to the consternation of the opposition, the ratification of the Elections Bill 2017 has allowed Nawaz to legally control the workings of the party and the government

Much to the consternation of the opposition, the ratification of the Elections Bill 2017 has allowed Nawaz to legally control the workings of the party and the government. It raises doubt on the government’s desire to uphold the most important plank of democracy: accountability.

The ouster of Aziz can be deemed as yet another effort to save the skin of powerful individuals but in the garb of saving democracy. Though Aziz can still tender his statements in the anti-corruption courts, the dismissal indicates that the government is still punishing individuals, who, in the process of carrying out their duties, are putting the powerful in veritable trouble.

The development came in limelight on Thursday when NAB sent Syed Qaboos Aziz a notice, directing him to record his statement and furnish relevant documents in relation to the corruption reference against Ishaq Dar

The government, which is practically under the control of the disqualified former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif is lending weight to the impression which suggests the Sharif family uses state institutions to further its political goals and save itself from the sword of accountability.

Read more: Will NAB references compel “natural allies” to shake hands?

Pundits are intrigued as to why institutions which should be independent are acting on the whims of political stalwarts. The continuation of this situation is not conducive to the establishment of a just and democratic polity.

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