Govt neither irked at nor afraid of NAB, says Nisar

Interior minister says government neither afraid nor angry with accountability bureau.─ AFP/File

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday said the federal government is neither afraid of, nor annoyed with, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and is not planning to clip the body’s powers.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Nisar clarified that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had only advised NAB not to threaten businessmen and investors after receiving complaints from the community, reported Radio Pakistan.

“This institution, NAB was created by former dictator General Pervez Musharraf to target PML-N, and the previous PPP government too used it against PML-N but if the bureau could not bring anything against the party in those years, how can they do it today,” said Nisar.

Nisar accused the previous PPP government of making money from Haj revenues , adding that other corruption scandals like “EOBI, PSO, Abandoned Properties Evacuee Trust, New Islamabad Airport and PIA” all emerged during the PPP regime.

Nisar stressed that FIA has played an impartial role in investigating these scams without any political influence, adding that the PML-N government is ready to brief all opposition parties over the issue.

‘NAB terrifying bureaucrats’

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday had said that the NAB is harassing government officers and bureaucrats are afraid of taking decisions (signing of files of different projects) because of the “NAB harassment”.

“The NAB terrifies the government officers, hindering them from performing their duty,” the premier had said.

Commenting on Nawaz Sharif’s remarks, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said the FIA was also doing the same against the PPP.

“Mian Sahib, not only NAB but your FIA is also doing the same job. Dr Asim is not involved in corruption, and one of your ministers has also conceded this,” he said in a statement.

PTI’s lawyer had approached the Lahore High Courtagainst Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly undermining the independence of NAB.

Advocate Gohar Nawaz Sindhu said in his petition that the court should restrain the prime minister from interfering in the affairs of the NAB. He stated that the NAB is an independent institution and has the powers to hold investigation against any person involved in corrupt practices.