LAHORE: Deputy Speaker of the Senate Saleem Mandviwalla said on Sunday that if the Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (R) Javed Iqbal did not appear before the Senate, letters would be given to him.
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, he said permission could be issued to summon anyone before the Senate.
Mandviwalla cited a series of complaints the Senate had received from various people regarding the mistreatment of NAB and the failure of political parties to improve NAB law when they had the opportunity.
Mandviwalla has accused political parties of not making amendments to the NAB law as a result of which it has started interfering in all institutions of the country.
He said the government had issued a statement to reduce NAB’s powers and put its role in government and public corruption, but political parties could not agree on that.
“The government has held several meetings with opposition parties on the NAB law but they have not been able to agree,” Mandviwalla said.
“As a result, the law no longer exists and NAB was given the opportunity to intervene in all institutions of the country, including the private sector and the government.”
The Senate vice-chairman said NAB was intervening in everything now, including issues related to the payment of small receipts, and import and export charges, which were not his.
“The Senate has received a long list of complaints from American and Canadian businessmen, who say they should leave the country because the NAB is harassing them,” he said.
He said: “NAB is so abusive that people are not able to do anything. They forced these helpless people to enter into a plea agreement. What does the businessman have to do with the work of NAB? ”
Mandviwalla said sarcastically that all facilities should be closed and NAB should govern. He said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) had been made “useless” because of NAB.
He said all institutions should be held accountable. If there are any allegations against members of parliament, parliament must investigate the matter and respond to them in the event of a misconduct.
Referring to the Senate elections scheduled for March but the government plans to hold them earlier, the Deputy Chairperson said “no one can change the Senate election process”.
The Senators will retire in March after which the plan will be released. “They can go on to say what they want,” he said, referring back to the account between the government and the Opposition over the election.
Mandviwalla said the opposition party’s decision to resign in large numbers at their meetings was up to them. “If they see it as the right thing to do, that’s their choice.”
He said such things were happening elsewhere in the world when there was a motion of no confidence in parliament and it was “not uncommon”. He said the PTI legislatures also resigned and were reinstated.