Opposition submits privilege motion against NAB’s Lahore DG for ‘media trial’ of its members

November 9, 2018

Photo: National Assembly of Pakistan/Twitter

The opposition is not happy with NAB’s Lahore director general appearing on several TV shows and discussing the Shehbaz Sharif case.

They submitted a privilege motion in the National Assembly on Friday under Rule 95 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly, 2007.

Shahzad Saleem appeared on five TV programmes on November 7 and 8, during which he “conducted a media trial of opposition members, attempted to influence the so-called cases against the members of the National Assembly, provided details of the matters that are sub-judice, revealed details of confidential and secret NAB documents and maligned the reputation of the members of the parliament”. They say he breached the privilege of the members of the opposition.

The members have asked for the assembly to immediately intervene in the matter.

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During the session, chaired by NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said they want accountability. An officer is conducting a media trial of the opposition on the orders of the NAB chairperson, he said.

He accused Saleem of violating the sanctity of the House and said he had never seen something like this in his 31 years as a lawmaker. The Supreme Court has ordered that investigating agencies should not disrespect anyone, he said, asking whether NAB was permitted to do so.

He said a privilege motion should be moved against him, saying the NAB officer was making things public that should not be.

PPP MNA Naveed Qamar said this is not a matter of the PPP and PTI; it relates to the entire assembly. This is all members being disrespected, he said.

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However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said bringing a motion on this issue is against the law. “We can’t let someone go because they are an MNA,” he argued.

What did he say?

Saleem spoke to five channels — Geo News, Hum TV, ARY News, SAMAA TV and Dunya TV.

During his interview with SAMAA TV, he said the bureau has more than enough evidence to file a reference against Shehbaz and will do so by the end of November.

He claimed that Shehbaz was trying to influence the inquiries. NAB doesn’t arrest anyone without any reason, Saleem said. He said what Shehbaz told the National Assembly was out of context.