Islamabad, September 28, 2020: Condemning the arrest of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “NAB is being used as a tool of political victimisation, and it’s powers are both structured, and exercised, in a way that serves the PTI agenda of selective accountability”.
“It has been one year since Syed Khursheed Shah is in jail and no charges on him have been established yet. Similarly, President Zardari is being summoned to the courts weekly during the Covid-19 pandemic, while PTI Ministers who have been identified for NAB cases are given a clean chit. If this is not the politics of revenge and witch hunting of opponents, then what is? Be it the BRT project, Sugar Commission or Malam Jaba scandal, they are being allowed to travel abroad or only their ministries are changed.” she added.
She said, “Federal government’s revenge politics has suddenly surged after the APC and its timing is not lost on anyone. By such actions, the PTI led government is only exposing its ulterior motives. Was the NA Speaker informed that Opposition leader is being arrested? These tactics are being used to muzzle opposition voices but we will not let them disrespect the sanctity of the Parliament like this”.
“Unbiased organizations like the Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association have condemned NAB’s unlawful arrests and abuses and even Human Rights Watch has taken notice of this,” she added.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s 2019 judgment in the Saad Rafique case on NAB, which questioned NAB’s legitimacy, she said, “NAB’s job is not just to make cases and run media trials in long investigative periods where even media moguls that question the government are not spared, like Mir Shakeel, it needs to provide evidence for those who it has made cases against. NAB’s authority is only limited for targetting and harassing opposition members which is in complete disregard of the constitutional principle of fairness. It seems that NAB is following the principle of selective accountability, while conveniently ignoring the conduct of those allied with the government”.
Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “Opposition is being blatantly pressurised and targeted after APC but we will not let their witch hunt derail our plans”.