PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi slammed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), calling it an “instrument” used by “kleptocrats to switch allegiance and rescue themselves.”
“Whither the kleptocrats? Who earned money? “They are in every Pakistani administration,” he declared at the Asma Jahangir Conference.
“I support accountability if you want it. NAB isn’t ac “NAB is political engineering, manipulating politics, punishing individuals without convicted,” he said.
“NAB is about victimization,” he said, not of a person, a group of people, or even a political party. “The people of Pakistan are paying the price now,” he said.
Earlier, Abbasi said that although the issue of responsibility or victimization is often debated, “the truth of the situation remains ambiguous.”
“It’s confusing because we obfuscate the “The laws are overused,” he added, adding that “the nation loses.”
Although Abbasi does not want his address to be a “personal tale,” he has spent 12 years in accountability courts and three years in prison. “Two issues remain: what is the objective of accountability and what has accountability brought to the nation,” he remarked.
In response, he said the goal is “quite obvious.” He added that from Pakistan’s inception, there has always been some type of accountability legislation, just in name.
One thing is certain about these laws: they don’t apply to those who drafted them.
He said that those in charge of enforcing the laws are also protected. “That is today’s NAB.”
‘NAB just for politicians’
“Who is NAB for? “The politicians who are accused of corruption and prosecuted in the media,” he continued.
In the 21 years NAB has been, Abbasi claims just “one prominent politician” has been convicted, alluding to former PM Nawaz Sharif.
In his letter, he demanded the NAB chairman to declare how much money he had recouped from He also questioned the legal community whether the two instances in which Nawaz was convicted were international precedents.
‘NAB legislation violates all justice’
The former PM said the NAB legislation “defies every fundamental concept of fairness.” “I proclaim you guilty, now prove your innocence,” he said.
“Anything may be charged,” he said. He cited a 34-page chargesheet as an example, when the NAB reference was 19 pages. “How is that?” What do we do? “Whither?”
“You are trying me for 35 years,” Abbasi remarked, citing the law.
He demanded the accuser’s 35-year record. “No way,” he said.
Tax law accountability
According to the former PM, holding politicians accountable is straightforward and does not need special legislation; it is done via tax laws.
“Those who tax Pakistanis should account for their own taxes and lifestyles,” he remarked.
He argued that if leaders gain money, they should pay taxes. “What does it say if MPs drive $30,000 or $60,000 cars, live in $500,000 homes, pay $200,000 monthly power bills, and don’t pay taxes?”
“He’s a crook.” “Why don’t we chase them?”
Abbasi suggested starting with the president, then the prime minister, then the opposition leader.
He said that not paying taxes is “a crime against the nation” and that officials should be held responsible for their wealth.
Most people believe taxes are “optional,” stated PML-N chief.
He mentioned an amendment he made to a judge-nominating legislation requiring a 10-year tax history.
Despite being a prime minister, Abbasi’s earnings were paltry compared to what he had to pay defence counsel. “34 years in politics.” That I spent at least ten times my salary to attorneys in Pakistan to defend myself in NAB proceedings. “Is that fair?”
Other nations ahead of Pakistan by NAB
According to the PML-N leader, when NAB was founded in 2000, Pakistan had a per capita income of $576, which has subsequently climbed to $1,190. “Bangladesh went from $358 to $2,097, while India went from $443 to $1,900.”
“Who won? […] and NAB plays a huge role.”
Consensus amendments to NAB legislation
He questioned how NAB could apply to someone “who has never controlled any public money.”
Abbasi stated the NAB statute was amended so “agreement can only be reached”.
“Consensus should be reached on numerous legislation, including election laws. We never seem to learn. “NAB is one of them.”
An amendment package offered to the government was waved in the National Assembly four hours later, with the treasury benches blaming the Opposition for seeking “an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) concession”.
Abbasi said the NAB must look at the human side of individuals being probed. “Does anybody care what happens to NAB accusers? “Does anyone care?”
“Can’t run their accounts, can’t operate their enterprises, can’t receive bank loans,” he questioned.
“A huge human cost is paid here,” he remarked.
‘NAB tool to turncoats’
A public person is accountable “every five years at the voting box”, according to the PML-N leader.
“You accuse me? Install cameras in the forensic and legal rooms. Show Pakistanis. That’s my base. Show them if I’ve cheated. Accuse me before them. “Not in closed courts, when the prosecutor and laws are illogical,” he remarked.
Abbasi claimed that everybody who goes before the NAB court “would be convicted,” regardless of the circumstances.
“We still remain firm because we believe in what we do,” he stated.
“We feel this nation would not progress without political leadership. Turncoats, hypocrites, and traitors don’t form countries.
“And NAB is a means to sell people’s souls.”