PPP Lawmakers Quit NA Body After it Summons NAB Chairman, PTI Lawmakers May Follow

A source in the PML-N claimed the two PPP lawmakers “have been coerced to resign from the committee because the party does not want to strengthen the writ of the parliament” at this stage.

May 16, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Two lawmakers belonging to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) who are members of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice, resigned on Tuesday from the committee after it summoned the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal to explain initiation of an inquiry based on media reports that pertained to money laundering by former PM Nawaz Sharif.

In their resignations submitted to the committee chairman, lawmakers Naveed Qamar and Shugufta Jamani maintained that such step would weaken the country’s anti-graft watchdog.

Earlier this month, the NAB had issued a press release, stating that a fact-finding probe has been launched to ascertain if the reports against the former premier appearing in media over alleged money laundering of $4.9 billion to India were credible or not.

The allegations were refuted by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the World Bank in separate press releases back in September 2016.

Related Article: The 4.9 Billion-Dollar Gaffe Which Could Have Been Avoided

Qamar said that the NAB chief was in fact being summoned for investigating allegations of corruption in Punjab– PML-N’s bastion of power, adding that such attitude was unacceptable to the opposition.

Qamar further said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers Ali Muhammad Khan and Dr. Arif Alvi might resign from the body as well which would leave the ruling PML-N party members of the said committee in a lurch.

Alvi tweeted: “As a member of the Committee I will strongly oppose the summoning of the NAB chairman by the committee. It is an effort by PMLN MNAs to pressurize NAB. Wont allow that to happen”.

A source in the PML-N claimed the two PPP lawmakers “have been coerced to resign from the committee because the party does not want to strengthen the writ of the parliament” at this stage.

On Tuesday, the committee chaired by PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] lawmaker Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf, asked the NAB chief to appear before it on Wednesday. The decision to summon Iqbal was taken on a point of order submitted by Rana Hayat of the PML-N.

The NAB chief has said “the bureau wouldn’t deter from its task even if it irks some quarters”. According to sources, the complaint verification process in place at the NAB is a routine process in the country and whenever the complaint is received against any individual, the NAB starts the process as per its policy of not seeing the face but the case.

During the process of inquiry, the statements of accused and complainant are recorded as per law. If during the inquiry, substantial evidence did not come to surface or evidence remains incomplete, then complaint verification is closed and subsequently media is informed.

When the NAB initiated the inquiry against the PTI Chairman Imran Khan in helicopter case, he welcomed the NAB action. Besides Imran Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif have appeared before the NAB.

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