PPP questions NAB ‘inaction’ against PM in Panama case

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sharjeel Inam Memon on Sunday strongly criticized the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for its failure in ‘across the board’ action against those named in corruption cases.

The former information minister in the PPP-led government in Sindh was released late Saturday night after he was arrested soon after a flight carrying him landed at Islamabad airport.

The PPP leader was released after NAB verified the bail papers that his counsel had submitted to the bureau.

“If the law is the same for everyone, why wasn’t Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s name included in the exit control list (ECL) in view of the ongoing Panama Papers case against him,” Sharjeel questioned.

The bureau’s action should be across the board without any discrimination, he said. “Was the NAB created only to function in Sindh or against PPP.”

He accused the rulers of barring NAB from carrying out investigation in cases relating to Punjab, saying the bureau had now practically become inactive in the province.

Sharjeel recalled that the Supreme Court had sought a list of mega scams wherein, he claimed, the premier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and federal and Punjab ministers were named. “However, names of none of these persons were included in the ECL. NAB chairman, if he has the courage, should put the premier’s name in the ECL,” he said. “Instead, the chairman refused to open a case of money laundering against the premier in the top court.”

“I have complete faith in Pakistan’s courts and will face cases [of corruption], if any, against myself,” Sharjeel said. “I have returned to the country only to face the case against myself.” The PPP minister called his arrest a kidnapping and a result of [political] victimisation. “I was arrested prior to issuance of any notice or initiation of a case, while my name was included in the ECL despite the fact that I wasn’t in the country.”

“Those who arrested me did not introduce themselves and were plain-clothed,” Sharjeel said while referring to his arrest which was termed disgraceful by the members of his party.

Memon, who is facing a multibillion-rupee corruption case in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), was arrested by the bureau’s officials from the runway after his flight from Dubai landed at the airport.

Four provincial ministers of Sindh, Mukesh Chawla, Imdad Pitafi, Fayyaz Butt and Taimor Talpur, were accompanying Memon when he was taken into custody. TheDailyTimes