ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Saturday lashed out at National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for approaching Lahore High Court (LHC), seeking cancellation of party vice president Maryam Nawaz's bail, terming it an "institution being used for changing political loyalties".
Speaking at a news conference, senior PML-N leader and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi decried the grounds under which NAB approached LHC for cancellation of Maryam Nawaz's bail, describing it an "unprecedented" move by the anti-graft watchdog.
Abbasi accused NAB and its chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal of "doing politics", saying NAB has citied Maryam Nawaz's criticism on the government and the institutions as the ground for cancellation of her bail.
There is no other institution which has any issue with what Maryam says except NAB, he said, adding that it was tantamount to silencing people and depriving them of their constitutional right.
He claimed that Maryam Nawaz was being accused 'because the NAB could not find evidence in the cases against her'. He alleged that the NAB's move was an attempt to "silence" the party's vice president.
He insisted that PML-N and its leadership could not be "silenced" for speaking for the rule of law.
"The law exists and the government can initiate proceedings against her if any other institution is aggrieved...it's the right of a citizen to talk on matters of national concern," Abbasi said, adding that neither the government nor any institution had raised any concerns regarding Maryam Nawaz while the NAB chairman was the only one seemingly aggrieved.
He questioned as to whether the NAB chairman had 'ever read the law', adding that it was up for debate whether the petition was sent at the chairman's behest or somewhere else. "This drama should be stopped now...NAB is doing politics in the country," he further alleged.
"The reality of the NAB has been made clear to people of the country. This is not an institution for accountability, but a body which is being used to victimize the politicians, changing their loyalties and silencing them," he further alleged.
The PML-N leader expressed hope that LHC would not only dispose of the "frivolous petition" but also impose a fine on the NAB for "wasting" the court's time and "harassing" a Pakistani citizen.
"Institutions of accountability are not above the law. The sooner the NAB chairman and the bureau understand this, the better it will be," he maintained.
To a question, he said that it does not come under the NAB's domain to defend other institution or the government, adding that the institutions and the government can better defend themselves.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021