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Pakistan

Khwaja Asif using "political revenge" as excuse to escape accountability, says Qureshi

  • Shah Mehmood says Asif couldn't give satisfactory explanation to NAB's questions related to assets beyond means
  • FM says opposition parties termed Asif's arrest a political revenge by the government which is not right
  • NAB is an independent institution and is not subservient to the government: Qureshi
Published December 30, 2020

(Karachi) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that PML-N leader Khawaja Asif is using the excuse of "political revenge" to escape accountability, local media reported on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference along with Adviser to Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan in Islamabad, Qureshi said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned Khwaja Asif several times to present himself and satisfy the bureau. "It seems as if Asif couldn't answer NAB's questions [related to assets beyond means]," he added.

The foreign minister said that opposition parties termed Asif's arrest a political revenge by the government which is not right. "NAB is an independent institution and is not subservient to the government," he said. "The laws according to which NAB operates were not introduced by the PTI," added FM Qureshi.

The foreign minister said that people should refrain from speaking about a PTI-NAB nexus since the accountability bureau is an independent body.

He said every person is held accountable in respectable societies the world over. "Now we are understanding why they wanted to amend NAB laws," he said.

The FM accused the opposition of demanding an NRO from the government, adding that Khawaja Asif had been present in the FATF-related legislation meetings that took place between the government and Opposition.

He asked Khawaja Asif and other opposition leaders to give satisfactory explanations to NAB's accusations.

Speaking on the occasion, Babar Awan said that holding an Iqamah allows a person to hold accounts in foreign banks. "Iqamahs are a residency permit that those who work abroad get. The money earned through illegal means is sent abroad and then brought back to the country by Pakistan's politicians," he stated.

"People who continuously live abroad become locals in foreign countries," he said. "However, why did Nawaz Sharif and Khawaja Asif felt the need to get an Iqamah?" he asked.

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