NAB: The only casualty in ‘war of words’

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News Desk |

Asif Ali Zardari, PPP co-chairman, on Monday said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman should appear before the parliament in person, instead of lawmakers going to him to discuss the bureau’s procedure for moving against opposition members accused of corruption.

Speaking during a National Assembly session, the former president said,” The time has come for the parliament to call the NAB chairman and “proclaim a law” that before any parliamentarian is summoned by NAB, their case should come to the house committee on law so it can decide whether there is actually a case against the said lawmaker or their family”.

Opposition parties are, however, presenting the accountability drive as government’s witch hunt against those who are questioning its poor performance in the first six months after it took power.

Zardari said he was hearing of plans among various parties to call on the NAB chairman, purportedly to discuss the bureau’s anti-corruption drive that has ensnared several opposition members. “Why will you go to the NAB chairman?” he asked the MNAs present, before declaring: “The NAB chairman should appear in person before the parliament.”

Zardari said the matter was not personal to him because he had encountered “many NABs” during his career and “will continue to face them”. “The real issue is what will happen when you are summoned [by the accountability watchdog]?” he said with a meaningful smile, addressing the treasury benches.

Read more: End of Zardari’s era: What is the way forward?

PPP Co-Chairman’s speech has come in the wake of anti-graft investigations against him and his sister Faryal Talpur. Sources have revealed that there are chances that Mr. Zardari might be jailed along with his sister in the fake accounts case.

Analysts opine that opposition has now upped the ante against NAB and its Chairman and that this pressure will only exacerbate in coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, the government has also expressed its commitment to let the accountability process continue unabated.

The nation, according to political analysts, remains divided over the entire accountability drive in the country and that the only casualty in this entire war of words would be NAB.

PM Khan in his social media post has stated that the opposition walkouts from parliament were aimed at sabotaging his government’s efforts to bring the corrupt elements to justice. PM Khan also reiterated his stance of not giving any concession to those who ‘emptied the government accounts’.

Observers opine that both the opposition and government are trying to capture the national discourse over corruption. Treasury benches are committed to present the anti-corruption drive as an effort to purge the nation of corrupt elements. Opposition parties are, however, presenting the accountability drive as government’s witch hunt against those who are questioning its poor performance in the first six months after it took power.

Read more: Is Asif Ali Zardari afraid of accountability?

The nation, according to political analysts, remains divided over the entire accountability drive in the country and that the only casualty in this entire war of words would be NAB.

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