Pakistan’s accountability bureau could lose its credibility if it fails to negate the impression that it is being used as an instrument against the opposition, analysts have warned.
“I wouldn’t have approved Saad Rafique’s arrest if I were NAB chairman,” said analyst Ahmad Waleed. “Saad Rafique was regularly appearing before the court.” Dawn, a respected newspaper, called it ‘partial accountability’. “You can’t ignore it,” he said.
Rafique and his brother Salman were arrested on December 11, after the Lahore High Court refused to extend their interim bail in Paragon Housing Scheme case. He is accused of holding major shares in Paragon City. However, he denies this and says he only owns a few houses and land.
“At least four judges of the Supreme Court had told NAB to set the same standard for all the politicians,” said Khalid Azeem, an analyst with SAMAA TV.
The federal ministers, including Fawad Chaudhry and Murad Saeed, have been publicly defending NAB actions in press conferences and TV talk shows.
In a recent show, the information minister predicted that PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah will be arrested by NAB. On Friday morning, Rana Sanaullah received a call-up notice. He is accused of tempering a map of Faisalabad underpass for the benefit of a few.
“How did Fawad Chaudhry know that an inquiry will be launched against Rana Sanaullah?” asked SAMAA anchorperson Moiz Jaferii.
Khalid Azeem agreed with Jaferii. “The opposition says NAB is being used by the government and the ministers’ statements appear to be confirming the perception.” NAB should tell the ministers to stop issuing such statements, Azeem said. “It is damaging NAB’s credibility.”