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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president and former prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was one of the most corrupt institutions of the country.

Talking to reporters outside the Accountability Court, he also said that country’s affairs could not be run until the existence of the anti-graft body.

“If you want to influence the country’s politics then you will need the NAB,” he said, adding if anyone said that the NAB had curbed corruption in the country then it would be totally wrong.

He claimed that “the NAB’s record will tell you that it has not curbed corruption of a single penny in the country.”

During the last four years, the NAB has been used to manipulate the political process of the country, therefore, “if we wanted to run the country’s affairs then the NAB should be abolished.”

“There are other institutions of law and accountability including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) in the country,” he stated, adding “if you wanted to curb corruption there is no shortage of institutions.”

Abbasi said that former NAB chairman and former justice Javed Iqbal worked for eight months on daily wages and still trying to return back as the chairman NAB.

“Former chairman NAB will have to be made answerable, what he has done during the last four years,” he said. If the facts regarding the NAB came to the surface, the reality of the NAB would become apparent, Abbasi said.

In response to a question about the soaring energy crisis in the country, he said the current load-shedding in the country was three and a half hours, which would be further reduced.

To another question about some retired army officers demanding a fresh election, he said that “where they were when the economy was getting destroyed. Now everyone is demanding fresh elections in the country,” adding that “we were also demanding fresh elections in the country for the last two years as Imran Khan was destroying the country.”

“If retired army officers are demanding elections then elections will be held,” he said.

He said that “today he is giving the date and elections will be held in October 2023.”

Earlier, he and other accused appeared before Accountability Court-II judge Azam Khan in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case.

The court allowed him to go after his attendance. The court recorded partial statement of prosecution witness Shoiab Siddiqui and directed him to appear before it during the next hearing along with the complete record.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case till June 14.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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