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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Thursday asked the government to place the names of Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice Javed Iqbal (retd) and former Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar on the Exit Control List (ECL), besides urging the duo to declare their assets.

Speaking at a news conference, senior PML-N leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also demanded that the NAB and the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) should also public the money they have so far spent on the “failed” inquires against party president and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif both in the country and abroad.

“Both, the chairman NAB and head of the ARU Shehzad Akbar, made billions of rupees from the taxpayer money, but there is no one to ask. We demand that their names should be placed on the ECL,” he maintained, adding that the NAB and the ARU have failed badly so far to present any evidence against Shehbaz.

After the two failed to furnish evidence of corruption against Shehbaz, he maintained that now the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been given the task to go after him. He claimed that Shehbaz had to face accountability for nine years during Musharraf era and now during the current PTI government, “but no case of corruption has been proved against him so far”.

Abbasi stated that after an article was published in a British publication, in which, the journalist claimed the material he published was provided to him by the ARU as evidence. He said that the journalist also stated that he was told by the ARU that it is closely working with the British National Crime Agency (NCA) in investigation against Shehbaz in two cases including Ashiana Housing Scheme and Ramzan Sugar Mills.

Upon this, he added that Shehbaz filed a defamation suit in a British court and five hearings were held, but the British publication did not present a single evince before the British court. He further stated that even NAB’s Lahore Director General Shehzad Saleem was sent to meet the NCA in the case against Shehbaz Sharif.

“The assets recovery unit which has no constitutional status, and its then adviser Shehzad Akbar wrote a letter to NCA against Shehbaz and his son Suleiman Shehbaz. The matter was investigated on all aspects and the NCA in November 2021 presented its statement before the British court that it investigated for two years the past 15-yearrecord of Shehbaz and his son in UK, UAE and Pakistan, but not evidence of criminal conduct or fraud was found against them,” Abbasi further maintained.“When a government failed to deliver, it starts speaking lies against its opponents,” he said.

To a question about the awards given to various ministers by the prime minister on “performance” of the relevant ministries, Abbasi said: “A country whose prime minister himself is a failed one, imagine how his team would be performing?”

He said that the performance ranking of the ministries is a “drama”. “All the kids have failed badly, some badly and the others less badly…But, the “parents-teachers” meetings’ are currently underway to ask their failure,” he stated on a lighter note, adding, “When a kid fails in his school, the teachers do call his ‘father’ to discuss the reasons.”

To a question whether the PML-N would be part of a possible interim government in case the opposition’s move of the in-house change succeeds, he said that the PML-N is of the opinion that fresh elections should be held soon, if a proposed no confidence motion succeeds.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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