The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday delayed the appearance of PML-N Vice Head Of State Maryam Nawaz before the guard dog on March 26 (tomorrow), citing the risk of Covid-19 as well as “public interest”.
NAB had mobilized Maryam on Friday as part of 2 probes– a money laundering investigation about the Chaudhry Sugar Mills situation, and also another related to 148 kanals of land that she purportedly bought in Lahore illegally.
A day before her appearance that was anticipated to turn into a political power show for the PML-N, a high-level NAB meeting was held to assess the situation and also the recent directions released by the National Command as well as Operation Centre (NCOC) because the ongoing 3rd coronavirus wave in the nation.
” The meeting was notified that the NCOC has placed a full ban on the gathering of all type of crowds,” a news release provided by NAB Lahore stated.
It recalled that at Maryam’s last look before the bureau, the NAB Lahore building had actually gone through “deliberate extreme stone-pelting”, which belonged to “developing a challenge” in the NAB examination.
Individuals involved in such acts could be jailed for up to 10 years under responsibility laws but “despite these legal powers, NAB has actually up until now revealed extreme patience as well as restriction so far”, the statement said.
It noted that Maryam had been released notifications to show up before NAB examination groups for a second time on March 26.
” Nevertheless, thinking about the NCOC referrals, and because public interest, NAB has taken the principled choice that charged Maryam Nawaz’s look in NAB Lahore tomorrow has actually been postponed,” checked out the declaration, adding that a brand-new day for her look would certainly be introduced at “an appropriate time”.
The conference additionally decided to route the NAB administration to reverse all safety and security measures that were being absorbed prep work for the appearance, according to the handout.
The statement worried that “NAB purely opposes any type of actions in which various methods are made use of to presumably bring a nationwide organization under any type of pressure.”
Adhering to the PML-N’s decision to gather optimal party leaders and also employees outside the NAB rural head office on March 26, the bureau had sought “sure-fire protection” from the federal government, asking it to release Rangers and also police personnel.
NAB had stated its Lahore office may “come under attack” from political workers and also others on the event of Maryam’s look.
On the bureau’s request, NAB Punjab headquarters as well as surroundings had actually additionally been declared a red area.
NAB had actually summoned Maryam in August last year, yet clashes in between PML-N workers and cops burst out outside its Lahore workplace upon her arrival to record a statement in the land acquisition case.
All PML-N lawmakers in the national and Punjab assemblies had been directed by the party leadership to accompany Maryam on her appearance. The party’s Lahore chapter had also been asked to mobilise the maximum number of workers to make it a “big political power show”, Dawn reported.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is also the president of opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), had also announced that workers of his party would reach the NAB office on Friday.
‘ Institution of political engineering’
Speaking to reporters in Lahore soon after the bureau’s announcement, Maryam reiterated that she would “not become an easy prey for NAB”.
” Whatever oppression and victimisation and revenge NAB was going to take has been done. It is time for atrocities to be ended,” she remarked.
She strongly criticised the anti-graft watchdog, terming it an “institution of political engineering that comes to the aid of [Prime Minister] Imran Khan whenever he needs help”.
” If [he] wants to silence an opponent or can not fight an opponent on political grounds and his political opponent needs to be put in jail for six months, then NAB is used,” she alleged.
Maryam claimed that PML-N leaders had “always followed the law” and had “exposed” NAB by doing so.
Referring to her past arrest, Maryam questioned what additional details NAB needed when it had already held her for 48 days.
” What need do you have to reopen the same case after 1.5 years and send a notice to Maryam Nawaz on the date when the long march was scheduled?” she asked.
Talking about NAB’s petition for cancellation of her bail in the Lahore High Court (LHC), Maryam said “if there was even a grain of truth or some merit in your allegations”, then the body would not have had to resort to “political allegations”.
The PML-N leader asked “NAB and the face behind it– Imran Khan– to not use the threat of NAB” against her, her father Nawaz Sharif or the party, saying they did “not fear NAB, your jails or your revenge”.
” It is time for accountability and God willing, the people of Pakistan will get accountability from NAB […] and vote chors (vote thieves).”.
She also criticised Prime Minister Imran who was photographed earlier in the day holding a meeting with his media team for “violating SOPs”.
The premier had tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
Maryam said the prime minister was “violating SOPs in front of the entire nation and his pictures were being circulated and there should be a crackdown there first”.
She said this in response to a question about NAB citing the growing coronavirus cases for the postponement of her appearance.