ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, the government and opposition traded barbs over the arrest of Khawaja Saad Rafique and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) during a National Assembly session.
Speaking on the floor, former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said party members are ready if NAB is going to be used to pressurise the opposition.
“Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif was arrested and till date a case could not be formed against him. Accountability institutions are being used to exert pressure on opposition parties,” Abbasi said.
“We are not against accountability but the way pressure is being exerted on opposition is against democratic laws and the Parliament. Saad Rafique has said on the assembly floor that he is not related to the case,” the former premier asserted.
Abbasi continued, “Hamza Shehbaz is the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly and his name is not on the Exit Control List (ECL) yet the Federal Investigation Agency stopped him at the airport. Zulfi Bukhari’s name is on the ECL but the prime minister takes him along for Umrah and nobody asks about it.”
“What is happening today is nothing compared to what was happening during Pervez Musharraf’s tenure but that was the era of a dictator. There was no democracy at that time but there is today,” he upheld.
Abbasi further said, “The National Assembly speaker should not save members from accountability but should save them from revenge.”
“The country has failed the ministers but the prime minister has passed them,” he added.
“Today, NAB members are levelling allegations against opposition members. If media trials are held today then where will we get justice tomorrow?” Abbasi asked.
Speaking at the floor of the National Assembly, the PTI leader Murad Saeed said, “Seven PML-N leaders approached me seeking NRO but no will get it.”
Saeed when asked by the opposition to name those who approached him said, “The first person who had approached him for NRO is present in the Parliament at this time.”
Further, the PTI MNA claimed, “We have made a recovery of Rs460 million from the projects that were initiated during PML-N’s term.”