LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday accused Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz of trying to hide the (alleged) corruption of the entire Sharif family and escape the ‘accountability’ process by using ‘contemptuous’ and ‘rebellious’ language against law enforcement agencies.
The anti-graft watchdog leveled these allegations a day after the daughter of Nawaz Sharif lambasted the Bureau, saying “Who authorized NAB to judge her ‘political statements’ and appointed it as spokesperson for the army and the judiciary?”
While requesting the Lahore High Court (LHC) to throw out the Bureau’s petition seeking cancelation of her pre-arrest bail, Maryam had demanded registration of a case against the NAB for acting beyond its mandate by judging political statements and transgressing its jurisdiction.
A NAB spokesperson said that Maryam Nawaz is currently facing investigations in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case and alleged money laundering. He said whenever the bureau summoned her in a personal capacity, Maryam started efforts to create an environment of chaos in the country besides giving “treasonous statements” against respectable institutions like NAB, judiciary and law enforcement agencies.
The spokesman said the sole purpose of the PML-N senior leader is to create obstacles in, and influence, the investigation of case related to corruption and money laundering against the Sharif family besides promoting conditions that were detrimental to peace.
“Through such statements, Maryam Nawaz had been trying to get herself acquitted in ongoing investigations against herself and bring the institutions to a point of confrontation,” he said, adding that Maryam had challenged law and order by giving “insightful speeches”. Citing the violence that had erupted during her appearance at the NAB Lahore office in August last year
Spokesman added that an FIR had also been registered against Maryam and the party workers for the clash in which many people, including some NAB officials, were injured.
Later on, he claimed that they had decided not to summon Maryam “for a while keeping in view the overall political situation, her political activities and the national interests”.
The bureau claimed that the daughter of the deposed prime minister had taken “undue advantage” of the delay by “constantly challenging the accountability process”. It said that an effort was also made during this time to “make fun of the respectable courts’ past judgments”, adding that the PML-N leader’s statements outside accountability courts at different times showed “a plan of extremism”.
The spokesperson said this was akin to giving the public a false impression, according to which NAB’s summoning and questioning of Maryam were given a political colour. “NAB considers it important to clarify that Maryam did not only discuss the institution’s petition in the court in a very wrong way but tried to distort the facts,” he said.
“NAB is a national institution that believes in taking constitutional and legal steps on the basis of justice and merit according to its mandate and will continue to do so. NAB is not affiliated with any political party and all its steps are associated with the benefit of Pakistan and its people,” he added.
On Monday, the NAB submitted its petition before the LHC pleading that Maryam had been giving statements against the state institutions since her pre-arrest bail and ‘tarnishing their image’. In August 2019, the NAB had arrested Maryam on the suspicion of her involvement in money laundering through investments of variable heavy amounts as one of the main shareholders of the mill.
She was later released on bail in November 2019 by a two-member LHC bench against two surety bonds worth Rs10 million each and an additional Rs 70 million as well as surrendering her passport.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021