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NAB arrests Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani

February 20 , 2019

NAB arrested on Wednesday the speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Agha Siraj Durrani, in Islamabad. 

He was arrested from a hotel in the Red Zone. Durrani is from the PPP.

NAB has accused him of illegal appointments, misuse of power, misappropriation of funds and owning assets beyond his known means of income.

The NAB Karachi team travelled to Islamabad to arrest him. He was initially taken to the NAB Rawalpindi office after which NAB obtained three-day transit remand to bring him back to Karachi for the investigation.

Related: NAB chairperson approves decision to shift fake accounts case to Islamabad

Before arresting MPAs or MNAs, the usual practice is that the speaker of the assembly (provincial or national) is informed first. In this case, as Durrani is himself the speaker, Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari will be informed. In the absence of Durrani, she will exercise the powers of the speaker. She will then also have the power to issue a production order for him.

Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, a sitting Sindh MPA from the PML-F, told SAMAA TV that when people see such a massive lift in someone’s lifestyle, they do question what has happened. We heard about the cases against him but nothing seemed to be done in Sindh, she said. We were looking towards NAB to solve who had taken the billions missing from Sindh’s coffers, she said.

We want to know who took the money and we want the money back, said Abbasi. She did say, however, if he has been arrested, NAB should have such strong evidence and strong prosecution that Sindh cannot be looted again. This case should be investigated till the end but it shouldn’t end in a case of not enough evidence, she said, calling that an embarrassment.

PTI MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman said in light of his arrest, Durrani should resign. He cited the examples of PTI leaders who had been arrested by NAB and resigned from their official positions, such as Azam Swati and Aleem Khan.

Related: Punjab Local Government Minister Aleem Khan arrested by NAB

NAB had also recently written letters to the Letter to his family — his wife, son, daughter, nephews and other relatives. NAB had been investigating him in these cases for around five years.

The cases against him include corruption in the construction of the new Sindh Assembly building, illegal appointments during his tenure as local government minister and corruption in the parliamentary lodges project.

It is still unclear what case he was arrested in.

After Sharjeel Inam Memon and Dr Asim Hussain, this is the first major leader to be arrested from the PPP in a while. In comparison, the PML-N has seen the recent arrests of many leaders, including both Sharif brothers and Khawaja Saad Rafique.

The CM’s adviser on law, Murtaza Wahab, criticised NAB’s arrest of Durrani before proving his crimes. We have faced these kinds of cases before and will do so again, he told the media.

Related: NAB gets five-day transit remand to shift former minister Kamran Michael to Karachi

However, he asked whether there are two laws in Pakistan. “Is there one law for the PPP leaders and another for the PTI and the parties aligned with it?” he said. A man is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, he said, adding that a citizen’s fundamental rights are being usurped by arresting him before his crime is proven.

Durrani is the speaker of an assembly that safeguards the rights of the people of Sindh but you aren’t safeguarding his rights, said Wahab. He will today have to fight for his own rights, he said.

“If you think it’s right to take someone into custody at the inquiry stage of an investigation, then I want to ask you whether Durrani is the only speaker against whom there’s a NAB inquiry,” said the adviser, giving the examples of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Shujaat.

Is the NAB law only going to be used agsint the PPP, he asked, questioning why the same law wasn’t being exercised against Prime Minister Imran Khan or Defence Minister Pervez Khattak or KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

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6 Comments

  1. Sam   February 20, 2019 3:27 pm/ Reply

    Now please dont let him free…NAB is in habit of making big promises and then its prosecutors sleep on it.

  2. S.m.gas.   February 20, 2019 6:10 pm/ Reply

    Take opinion poll about the honesty of PPP LEADERS.

  3. Azam   February 20, 2019 6:32 pm/ Reply

    He will be freed and this will result jn another politician getting arrestrd and then again they getting freed.

    Loopholes in our constitution and penal codes are deliberately created so people can loot and plunder and then pay hefty price in shape of Riswat in the amount of millions to go scott free.

    Solution is abrogation of this outdated constitution and a new reformed one with Presidential form of govt.

    Only then we will see justice being meted out.

  4. Zeesh   February 20, 2019 9:09 pm/ Reply

    Excellent! NAB should pursue his case swiftly and recover all the money. Hope he rots in jail for the rest of his life!

  5. Shoaib   February 21, 2019 12:41 am/ Reply

    Criminal has no sect nor religious beliefs, he is just criminal. NAB should put such people in jail for good. Fear Allah NAB and swipe away such criminals including every corrupt leaders and their associates or all of them.

  6. Anonymous   February 22, 2019 12:04 pm/ Reply

    نیب نے آغا سراج درانی کو گرفتار کیا ہے۔ جن الزامات پر گرفتاری ہوئی ہے اگر اُن میں کوئی حقیقت ہے تو اسے یقینی سخت سے سخت سزا ملنی چاہئے۔ لیکن اگر یہ بھی دوسرے ملزمان کی طرح شک کا فائدہ اُٹھا کر بری ہو گیا تو نیب کی اہلیت پر بھی شک ہو گا۔ جو کمزور کیس بنا کر کریمنلز کو بری کروا دیتا ہے۔
    نیب کو صیح معنوں میں انوسٹی گیشن مکمل کرنے کے بعد مگر مچھوں پر ہاتھ ڈالنا ہو گا۔ تا کہ کو کسی بھی سظح پر باہر نہ آ سکیں۔
    نیب کیس بنا لیتی ہے مگر جب کیس عدالت میں جاتا ہے تو سو جاتی ہے۔ اور ملزم چھوٹ جاتے ہیں۔


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