ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday described the plea bargain deal recently struck by the National Accountability Bureau with a senior bureaucrat of Balochistan as tantamount to letting thieves go off scot-free and called for the NAB chief to be appointed by the judiciary.
Chaudhry Nisar’s remarks about the highly controversial deal reached between NAB and then Balochistan finance secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani, who is facing corruption charges of billions of rupees, attain significance as these were the first made by a government minister.
At present, the head of the accountability institution is picked by the government in consultation with the opposition.
Impression that Zardari has returned under a deal rejected
“How can NAB be independent if its chairman is to be appointed by the government and the opposition,” he argued during a conversation with reporters.
The minister went on to suggest that NAB should have administrative and financial autonomy with no government department having any controlling power over it.
He admitted there were flaws in the NAB law, but said that while the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N had made attempts to amend it the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party did not cooperate in this regard.
“They do not want to do it even now,” he claimed, adding that since the PPP had a majority in the Senate it could block passage of the amended law.
Rejecting the propaganda that he would be a candidate for prime minister in future as bogus, Chaudhry Nisar said he was a content person and believed that character, and not the offices, brought respect.
“I neither stab in the back nor conspire,” he said and added that he had no desire to seek any office through back-door.
In reply to a question, he said Pakistan faced a near emergency situation because of the failure of the previous government as there was severe power crisis, a horrific law and order and a shattered economy when the incumbent government took over. He said things were improving now and noted that the government had still one and a half years of its tenure left. He said that while significant achievements had been made in many areas, results of some steps would unfold in the days to come. “But do not make me a judge on the performance of the government. There are many things half done at present and the masses will make better decision through the ballot in the 2018 polls. “The sieve of elections is the beauty of democracy.”
The interior minister dispelled the impression that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had returned to Pakistan as a result of some deal under which Dr Asim Hussain would be freed.
The government, he said, had neither struck any deal with Mr Zardari nor had it extended any assurance to him.
He pointed out that the PPP leader needed no deal to return home as his name was neither on the exit control list nor was there any FIR registered against him.
Answering a question about the arrest of some people from the Karachi offices of a close friend of Mr Zardari, he said the Rangers had released an official statement about it. “Let the investigations proceed and things will be clear.”
The minister said that inquiry into the Khanani and Kalia case had been conducted on his orders, adding that it was the country’s worst case of money laundering and other criminal activities. He recalled his previous remarks in which he had said that there would be visible progress in the case in next two weeks. He said he had never said that he would bring forth evidence of corruption against PPP in two weeks.
Answering a question, he said he had received by post a file containing details of NAB references filed against Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah during the government of then PM Shaukat Aziz, adding that chairman and prosecutor of NAB of choice had been picked up to ensure that these cases did not proceed.
To a question, he said the Quetta inquiry commission report was not a decision of the Supreme Court. “It is yet to be adjudicated upon,” he pointed out.
Commenting on recent statements by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, he said the general had been allowed to leave the country on the court orders.
courtesy : dawn news