ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Housing and Works and a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) Tariq Bashir Cheema called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday and apprised him of his party’s concern over reopening of old cases by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
According to sources, Cheema expressed concern over the reopening of 20-year-old inquires by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.
“The whole country is in a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak, then why the NAB chairman is opening old matters in such crucial times,” Cheema asked. The minister went on to add that the premier has assured probe into the matter.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the minister said that he had informed the prime minister about the PML-Q’s concerns. Whether the NAB chairman took action on his own or at the behest of someone else should be investigated, he added.
He said that the prime minister had assured him that he would investigate the matter. The PML-Q leaders had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, alleging that the anti-graft watchdog was an institution of political engineering and raised questions on its investigative authority. In addition, the plea requested the court to declare the reopening of the almost two-decade-old case by the authority as illegal.
In the petition, the politicians underlined that the courts have earlier ruled on the NAB’s role and erroneous methods of investigation. The petitioners, who are an important ally to the government, argued that the establishment of NAB, its credibility, partiality and use for political engineering has been a matter of heated debate not only by all political parties but also by human rights organisations and intelligentsia both at the national and international levels.