PML-N vows legal action against NAB chief if he doesn’t apologize

Source:  ARY News Published in Current Affairs on Friday, May 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Friday decided to use legal options available to it against National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, if he doesn’t apologize for launching a probe against former premier Nawaz Sharif over the “baseless” money-laundering allegations.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the CEC held at Punjab House in the capital today, sources privy to this development told ARY News.

Dismissing the NAB chief’s clarification over the allegations, Mr. Sharif said the allegations have proven the bureau’s partiality and biased conduct.

The CEC meeting was called to discuss the charges levelled against the PML-N Quaid by the anti-graft watchdog.

Mr. Sharif further said if the NAB chairman doesn’t tender apology, he would use legal options available to him for redressal of his grievance.

During the meeting, the CEC members deplored the money-laundering allegations against the former premier.

It is pertinent to mention here that disgruntled PML-N leader and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar was not called to attend the huddle, which was attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pervez Rashid and Mushahid Hussain Syed, to name a few.

Following his disqualification at the hands of the Supreme Court after an inquiry into the Panama Papers, Mr. Sharif has been complaining about a witch-hunt against him.

Earlier speaking to reporters today, he said the allegations are of grave nature and that his party has taken them seriously.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while addressing the National Assembly two days back alleged that the institution [NAB] has overstepped its domain.

Mr. Abbasi said the country would not function if the institutions work in this way, he added, pointing out that the National Assembly still has time to amend the NAB laws.

Taking notice of a newspaper article based on a ‘flawed’ report of the World Bank, NAB has started verification whether former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was involved in sending $4.9 billion to India.

While the World Bank promptly responded to the NAB move and stated that “the report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals”, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the estimates showed in the WB report were based on “assumptions” which did not reflect the reality.

Soon after the SBP’s clarification, NAB issued a brief statement and questioned: “If the World Bank report is not correct, why they have not changed the figure of 4.9 billion dollars from Pakistan in its report?”

The WB’s assessment was called a “flawed” one because those who migrated from India and became Pakistan citizens after 1947 did not send back remittances.

A WB spokesman said: “We would also like to refer to a statement by the State Bank of Pakistan which rejects estimates of $4.9 billion in remittances from Pakistan to India on Sept 21, 2016.”

NAB launched the probe against Mr. Sharif after the World Bank’s migration and remittance book released in September 2016 carried information that foreign exchange reserves of India increased by $4.9 billion after receiving the huge amount sent through money laundering, inflicting losses to Pakistan’s national kitty.