News Desk |
Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, on Friday, condemned the arrest of his niece Maryam Nawaz and nephew Yousaf Abbas Sharif by the accountability watchdog, as he accused the PTI-led government of scheming against opposition leaders.
Addressing the floor of the National Assembly during the session of the lower house, Shahbaz accused the PTI government of being in “an alliance” with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Shahbaz complained that Maryam Nawaz was arrested in the presence of her father.
Earlier on Thursday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had condemned Maryam Nawaz’s arrest during the National Assembly session, and in protest, he walked out of the session. Maryam has been arrested by the NAB in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, while she was visiting her father Nawaz Sharif in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
NAB’s Vindictive Tactics
During Friday’s ongoing NA session, Shahbaz Sharif said, “This is not the first time we are witnessing oppression. We have witnessed all this injustice before.”
The leader of the opposition added “Imran Khan Niazi is deceiving himself if he believes that oppression and injustice will scare Nawaz Sharif and his family.” Shahbaz noted that the opposition had decided to put forward a “unified stance” to counter Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unlawful decision to abolish the special constitutional status of Indian occupied Kashmir, however, by arresting Maryam Nawaz, the government has rejected this gesture of unity.
— PakistanTV.TV (@PakistanTV_TV) August 9, 2019
Addressing the Assembly, Shahbaz claimed, “Maryam had been appearing for NAB investigations regularly. She had requested the NAB authorities to allow her time until 3pm so she could visit her father in prison.”
The PML-N President continued, “These arrests are orchestrated to divert the attention of the people from the Kashmir crisis, the heightened prices of medicines and the downfall of the economy.”
Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri urged Shahbaz Sharif to wrap up his speech as he taken up a great deal of time, to which Shahbaz responded, ‘I understand the looks you are giving me Mr. Speaker. I merely want to state that even though the government is putting us in a bind, it will be their loss in the end.”
Accusing the NAB authorities of being brutal and vindictive, the leader of the opposition questioned, “Why couldn’t the NAB arrest Maryam from her house?” He further questioned that the NAB could also have arrested Maryam from Raiwind, or during her journey towards Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Lamenting that his niece was yet again arrested in front of her father, the incarcerated former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif highlighted the arrests of both father and daughter on 13th July, 2018.
Political Victimization or Accountability?
The PML-N President noted that he was not allowed to visit his brother in Kot Lakhpat jail, and he was made to wait outside, while a team of NAB officials arrested Maryam Nawaz and Yousaf Abbas Sharif. Following the arrest on Thursday, the PML-N leaders accused the PTI-led government of running a campaign of political victimization against the opposition.
Shahbaz stated that the decision to arrest Maryam in front of her father and children is “extremely shameful.” The Leader of the Opposition stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government should focus on safeguarding the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir instead of victimizing the opposition.
He went onto accused the PTI-led government of conspiring against the people of the country, and noted that the federal government is consumed with political revenge, while it lacks the acuity and depth to understand the sensitive nature of the ongoing conflict.
Assuming the floor of the Lower House, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif accused the government of carrying out a “one-sided” accountability that was only directed towards opposition leaders, and neglects to probe into the wrongdoings of PTI leaders.
Khawaja Asif said, “If you want to address the need for accountability, the government must begin the process by first examining the 18 accounts the PTI government is using in the State Bank.” The opposition leaders began sloganeering as Asif continued to question the government’s methods of accountability. He said, “Why is the PTI government not being held accountable for anything?”
Asif continued, “Nawaz Sharif remained true to the promises he made, and his daughter has been targeted for raising a voice against this oppression.”
Read more: Maryam Nawaz Arrested by NAB
Ali Muhammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, rubbished the accusations of the government being in an “alliance with NAB) and reminded he PML-N leaders of the billions of dollars they have illegally laundered. Addressing the opposition, Khan said, “You must explain how you received billions of dollars’ worth of foreign currency in court. The government of Pakistan is not answerable to NAB in this matter.”
Responding to the allegations of the opposition leader that the PTI-led government had ordered Maryam’s arrest to divert attention from the ongoing Kashmir conflict, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs noted that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited Indian Prime Minister to attend the wedding of his granddaughter in Pakistan.
Ali said, “They are chanting slogans against him today, but a few years, that was not the case. Was it Imran Khan who had invited Narendra the Modi, the murderer of Indian Muslims, to attend a wedding?”