Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla on Monday said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) needs to be brought back into line as it has now become an institution “beyond anyone’s control,” and called upon the Senate to “do something” about the anti-graft body.
“I have received more than a hundred complaints against the NAB, all in written form,” he said during Monday’s Senate session. “Many federal secretaries also called me to say that they do not wish to work with NAB anymore.”
He reiterated that NAB was engaging in human rights violations and “damaging people’s respect” and called for legislation be done to stop it from doing so.
According to a report by a local news outlet, Mandviwalla stressed that whenever NAB probes into anyone’s businesses, it provides the information to media outlets to malign the concerned person’s reputation first and starts investigating the matter later.
Mandviwalla maintained that it was his responsibility to raise his voice against wrongdoing in the country. If there are black sheep in NAB, they should be exposed for the benefit of the institution itself, he added.
Mandviwalla informed Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani that he had written a letter to the NAB chairman over two years ago, a copy of which was also sent to the house, which stated that the anti-corruption body should contact the offices of senators before summoning them, registering cases against them or arresting them.
“The NAB chairman replied saying that it was correct and they would follow it. A good system was started and our senators started feeling confident that they would be listened to in the house. Despite this, some interesting things happened,” he said, going on to mention Senator Rubina Khalid who he said was being called by NAB in inquiries pertaining to contracts signed by her deceased husband.
He went on to cite other examples of NAB’s purportedly overzealous attitude, particularly the cases of inquiry into Hasil Bizenjo and Mohsin Aziz.
He also revealed that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman’s ex-husband was forced by NAB to record a statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure with reference to section 145 of Evidence Act.
“He is an extremely decent man and the NAB forcefully made him write the statement. Every man values his respect. It has been 12 years that I have been in government and opposition […] Can anyone stand and say that Mr Mandviwalla is corrupt?”
“Is NAB above the law? I suggest there should be an investigation into the assets of NAB’s personnel. Their degrees and domiciles should also be checked,” Mandviwalla said.
“When the NAB probed me for alleged benami transactions, they recorded everything. I demand them to hand the footage over to media so that everyone could see what actually happened,” Saleem Mandviwalla said.
The deputy chairman said that “private transactions” would have to be removed from the NAB’s ambit if the country was to be run.