Home Global Village Public office holders vs. private business owners: PML-N and PTI at loggerheads

Public office holders vs. private business owners: PML-N and PTI at loggerheads


News Analysis |

After the verdict of an accountability court against the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been seen quite emotional and unhappy. On Tuesday, PML-N leaders held a press conference and asked why selective accountability was being held by the government?

Ahsan Iqbal, a prominent PML-N leader, maintained that since the PTI government is going after opposition, therefore, ‘anyone from PTI who has done something wrong is treated differently by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’. “‘Selective’ accountability of a ‘selected prime minister’ is not acceptable. PML-N legislators are being arrested whereas the PTI and its allies, no matter how severe the allegations are on them, they are free to do anything,” said Ahsan.

Prominent anchor Dr. Moeed Pirzada argues that the NAB and other institutions should maintain a difference between those holding public offices and the simple business community.

PML-N leaders also claimed that the decision against Mr. Sharif was very flawed and did not have any legal significance. “The first case in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, the crime ascertained was that he did not take a salary from his son,” said former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal. “And this time the allegation leveled is that ‘since your son sent you money, therefore you stand indicted’, he added.

Moreover, PML-N leaders maintained that PM Khan’s sister Aleema Khan was given a clean chit in her case. Former Governor Sindh Mr. Muhammad Zubair said that this was a sad example of how parallel systems of accountability being run in the country. “She was asked to pay just fine. Just fine?” asked the PML-N leader.

PTI’s Response

In response to the PML-N’s presser, the leaders of the ruling party also addressed media. A penal of senior leaders under the supervision of Mr. Fawad Chaudhary explained to the nation that the PTI’s anti-corruption stance is firm and it will never get changed. Chaudhry defended the ongoing accountability drive, reminding his critics that “it is our mandate to catch thieves.”

Read more: The Government has set a historic accountability precedent: NAB’s former Deputy…

Interestingly, the PML-N leaders’ repeatedly label the premier as a “selected prime minister”, the information minister reminded them that “the PML-N itself was engineered by General Zia. Mian Sharif, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were not even councilors before General Zia,” Federal Minister said.

Moreover, on the matter of Aleema Khan and ‘just fine’, Hammad Azhar, a prominent leader of PTI, said, “She has never been a public office holder so there can be no question of treatment like Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz remained the PM for thrice”.

Read more: Accountability of Provincial Governments necessary

As a matter of fact, PML-N leaders are now making all efforts to equate the cases of public office holders with that of ordinary businessmen. Prominent anchor Dr. Moeed Pirzada argues that the NAB and other institutions should maintain a difference between those holding public offices and the simple business community. If the both are confused with each other it will be difficult to move forward in the process of accountability.

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