Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Wednesday that he always received a notice from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after addressing a rally or press conference.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was speaking at a news conference after appearing before the NAB on Wednesday in relation to the fake accounts case.
The PPP chairman started the news conference by condemning the highhanded, dictatorial and brutal actions of the government. “I would like to salute the workers of PPP for their bravery, resilience and demand their immediate release and no charges be filed against anyone undemocratically, unnecessarily arrested.”
“If they (govt, NAB) are so courageous then they should form a Joint Investigation Team to probe terror financing and benami prime minister and rigging in the General Elections 2018… Unfortunately, this is not happening,” Bilawal stated.
He further said that those in government are the same people who held the capital hostage for 200 days and sabotaged the visit of the Chinese president back then. “Now they are lecturing us, we didn’t cross a line… we didn’t provoke…We have video evidence showing how police attacked the workers first.”
The PPP chairman said that if the arrested workers are not released then the party will devise a future strategy.
“I am not worried or concerned. I am happy to present myself for a free and fair investigation in accordance with the rule of law, unfortunately, what we have seen in the last six months is a manipulation, undermining and disregard for how rule of law should function,” Bilawal told reporters.
Bilawal stressed that he had not given a protest call nor had he requested anyone to be present at NAB. “I received the NAB notice on Monday and did not have time to plan anything.”
Speaking on his NAB appearance, Bilawal said he was less than a year old when he was made a shareholder in the company mentioned in the case. “Since that day I have not had any involvement with this company.”
The PPP chairman further said that the then Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar had said he was innocent in this case and asked under who directions his name was in the JIT.
Bilawal stressed that this case had broken local and international legal precedents when it came to jurisdiction. “This case is from Karachi. Bank accounts are from Karachi, alleged accused from Karachi but I don’t know why Pindi becomes a platform for us.”
Bilawal said he did not think this was a NAB case as it concerned private transactions and not public money. "The banking court was the appropriate forum. It is unfortunate NAB is used like this. NAB was made during Musharraf era for political engineering.”
The PPP chairman said his party was unable to bring an end to the black NAB law and bring a new system for across the board accountability.
“This is a bipartisan issue. Unfortunately, we have not been able to capitalise on that,” the PPP chairman said on amending NAB laws.
Speaking on the issue of terrorism, Bilawal said he had been demanding the formation of a national security committee, steps against banned organisations and the sacking of three ministers associated with banned organisations. He added that no one would take the government seriously until they did this, nor would anyone believe the National Action Plan was being implemented.
He stressed that a message was being sent that the government doesn’t tolerate constructive criticism. “I am warning that if they continue to suppress dissent they will be responsible for the consequences.”
Bilawal said NAB officers conducted themselves in a very professional manner and were doing what they were told. “They only questioned me for five minutes and then gave a questionnaire.”