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News Analysis |

In the latest development, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested one more Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader in an alleged corruption case. According to media reports the NAB officials arrested former head of the Lahore Parking Company (LPC) Hafiz Mian Noman after his interim bail plea was dismissed by the Lahore High Court (LHC). A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Muhammad Tariq and comprising Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf heard Hafiz Noman’s bail petition.

The NAB lawyer argued regarding the irregularities in contracts of the parking company, adding that the bureau had initiated an inquiry into the matter. He submitted that the LPC was bound to develop parking sites on 246 places as per the contract with the city district government, but only 33 sites were functional.

The NAB has been under severe criticism by the opposition for its alleged pro-government stance. The opposition leader, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, categorically stated in the National Assembly that the PTI and NAB are the two sides of the same coin.

He further informed the bench that the anti-graft watchdog had also issued an arrest warrant against Noman because he was the head of the company whereas all other accused had already been arrested. The court then dismissed the bail of the former lawmaker. The NAB officials immediately arrested Mr. Noman from the court premises.

NAB After Corrupts?

It is worth mentioning here that the NAB recently arrested a PML-N MPA Qaiser Amin Butt in a case pertaining to the Paragon Housing Society scam. According to sources, Mr. Butt has had a 15-year long partnership with PML-N stalwart Khawaja Saad Rafique in the housing project.

Moreover, former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Khan Cheema and others are already in custody over the allegations of corruption in Ashiana Iqbal Housing Society scam.

Read more: War on Corruption: NAB arrests former PML-N MPA Qaiser Amin Butt

Even the PML-N president Mr. Shahbaz Sharif who also happens to be the opposition leader in the National Assembly was arrested by the NAB on 5th October in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme case and was produced before accountability court, Judge Najmul Hasan.

He has been accused of ordering cancellation of the contract of Aashiana-e-Iqbal to a successful bidder, leading to the award of the contract to another builder, which resulted into a loss of Rs 193 million approximately. He also directed PLDC to assign the project of Aashiana-e-Iqbal to LDA resulting into the award of contracts to M/s Lahore Casa Developers (JV), thus causing loss of Rs 715 million approximately and ultimately failure of the project, according to the notice.

It is also worth mentioning here that the NAB has been in an active mode even before the installation of the PTI-led government. NAB chairman has repeatedly clarified that it is not going after any political party.

The NAB has been under severe criticism by the opposition for its alleged pro-government stance. The opposition leader, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, categorically stated in the National Assembly that the PTI and NAB are the two sides of the same coin.

PM Khan has made it clear several times that the NAB is an independent institution and the corrupt politicians and officials will not be spared at any cost. Cases are being investigated and filed by the watchdog which is worrisome for many politicians and bureaucrats in the country.

As a matter of fact, PML-N remained in government in Punjab for ten years and for five years in center. There have been various projects initiated by the PML-N government and many mega scandals were exposed by media and the NAB itself which led to formal arrests of PML-N leaders.

Read more: NAB investigates PML-N’s KPK President over corruption

It is also worth mentioning here that the NAB has been in an active mode even before the installation of the PTI-led government. NAB chairman has repeatedly clarified that it is not going after any political party. The intention and purpose of the NAB is to probe alleged corruption cases and arrest those found involved in malicious activities.

The case against PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif was lodged way before PTI came to power. Accusing NAB of siding with PTI is just an attempt to face-saving.

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