LAHORE: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday called for the shutting down of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) stating that the chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal should resign and go home.
The remarks by Bilawal came a day after PML-N demanded a new accountability body be formed following the Supreme Court’s detailed verdict in the Paragon Housing Society case slamming the accountability bureau for its “utter disregard for the law”.
“Our first step should be to end NAB and shut it down as it’s a scar on the face of the legal system of Pakistan,” Bilawal said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.
He added that after the top court’s verdict there was no reason for NAB to stay. “NAB chairman, who was a judge at one point, should resign if he has any respect or had read the judgment,” the PPP chairman remarked.
“If the highest court in this country has put it out there then we cannot leave it just here. The Parliament should act at once,” he said.
He added that NAB should “clarify” itself as the Supreme Court order said that it was not taking actions against the government’s mega corruption cases.
“The Bureau should launch an investigation into the foreign funding case, BRT, billion tree cases, special assistants’ assets declaration and dual nationality cases at once,” Bilawal said.
Bilawal said if his party had made such a declaration then they would have been “facing an asset beyond mean cases and the media would have declared them as traitors”.
“If our system is two-faced then how can he [NAB chairman] come and say accountability will be done from head to toe?” asked Bilawal, calling for an end to the “joke” that was being done with Pakistan.
PML-N’s Saad Rafique while addressing a press conference on Tuesday had said after the Supreme Court’s verdict NAB has no standing.
“NAB should be abolished […] The opposition and government should legislate for a new accountability body,” he said, adding: “There is no atmosphere of justice in NAB.”
Rafique said that history bears witness that the descendants of those who had strived for the creation of Pakistan were mistreated but there is “no precedent for what happened this time”.
“This trend, of injustice, must be stopped.”
SC slams NAB’s utter disregard for law
The Supreme Court on Monday in its detailed verdict on a bail petition filed by PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing Society case highlighted severe lapses in due process and legal procedure by NAB.
In the detailed, 87-page ruling, penned by Justice Maqbool Baqar, the court highlighted the definition and purpose of bail as well as due process in criminal cases.
According to the judge, it was unfortunate that “even after 72 years since the creation of our country, and despite 47 years since the adoption of the Constitution, we have not been able to realize the spirit and essence of the ideals set out therein”.
Justice Baqar went on to say that the present case was “a classic example of trampling fundamental rights, unlawful deprivation of freedom, and liberty and the complete disregard for human dignity as guaranteed by the Constitution”.
The judge also slammed NAB over various actions and processes, saying its “conduct throughout this case is a clear manifestation of their utter disregard for the law, fair play, equity and propriety.”