The fallout continues after a controversial decision to allow former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment. The former premier seemed to appear healthy as he boarded a luxurious air ambulance unaided to London.
As state institutions blame each other for the aftermath, NAB has sprung into action to defend itself; the bureau has claimed that it had no role in allowing the PML-N leader to travel abroad. In a veiled reference, NAB chairman said that some people were sharing the same hospital bed, while others were travelling abroad for treatment even if they catch a cold.
The NAB chairman has reiterated the government’s narrative that ‘no deals, NRO, or leeway’ will be offered to anyone facing corruption charges; those found guilty will have to face the music for their actions. The anti-corruption watchdog chief has stated that no power, influence or threats will prevent the bureau from continuing its work irrespective of what critics claim.
It seems the bureau doesn’t want the common man to sympathize will those under investigation on charges of corruption. Despite intense criticism the past year, NAB is adamant that it is not pursuing selective cases. The bureau wants to dispel the impression of being biased, by opening investigations into those who have been in power since 2018.
Political parties have blamed the bureau for selective accountability in connivance with the ruling PTI government. They claim that NAB is still being used as a tool for retribution against political opponents. Many businessmen and industrialists have also complained of being harassed and hounded by the anti-graft body during the accountability drive.
The role of NAB has always been controversial due to its checkered past when it was used by powerful regimes against political opponents. The watchdog has neither friends nor enemies. Now NAB Chairman has said that winds of change were moving through the country and the present rulers should not live under the impression that they were exempt from accountability.
Although NAB has hinted at shifting focus onto the government, it must also be remembered that many cases still have not been concluded. Many political stalwarts are still facing charges and have neither been absolved nor convicted. It needs to be seen whether NAB will stick to its promise of justice and accountability for all for a corruption-free country.
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