Qureshi denies any link between govt, NAB; terms accountability watchdog independent organization

Qureshi denies any link between govt, NAB; terms accountability watchdog independent organization

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi said National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should hold across the board accountability and there should not be an impression of witch hunt.

Speaking at the floor of the National Assembly while responding to points raised by Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif in his speech, he said NAB was free to act and the government would not become a hurdle in the way of its working.

On the issue of cancellation of bail of Asif Ali Zardari, he said he would not go into details of different phases of the case.

The case of Asif Ali Zardari was three year old and was contested in Banking Court, NAB court and Islamabad High Court, he said adding there was concept of separation of powers of legislature, judiciary and executive and this point was central part of the  Constitution.

He denied any link between government and NAB, calling it an independent organization.

The foreign minister said as the court could not grant further bail to Asif Zardari it ordered its cancellation. The production order of Asif Zardari could only be issued after the arrest was made, he noted.

He said after the arrest, NAB would inform the speaker office and it would be discretion of the speaker to take a decision.

He refuted claim of the opposition leader that Pakistan did not raise the issue of Kashmir and Palestine in the summit meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

He said OIC called its emergency meeting to discuss the tension in the region about which Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were also concerned.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on the request of Pakistan, OIC held a special meeting on Kashmir, which was a flashpoint in South Asia.

The OIC secretary general presided over the meeting and a joint communiqué was issued in which Kashmir issue was raised vociferously, he pointed out.

During the OIC summit, he said the participants drew attention of the world towards Palestine issue, which was still unresolved.

He said in his speech at OIC summit, Prime Minister Imran Khan raised issues of shifting of capital of Israel to Jerusalem, recognition of Golan heights as Israeli territory, Islamophobia and hate speech.

Giving reasons for the tweet of Imran Khan in which he appreciated Minister for Power Omar Ayub, he said Shehbaz Sharif gave details about increase in electricity generation capacity during his government, however, in the past Ramazan despite addition of electricity, problem of load-shedding persisted due to line losses and technical issues.

However, during this Ramazan due to efforts of Omar Ayub the line losses were reduced, Rs81 billion were recovered, generated electricity was transmitted to the consumers and this fact was acknowledged was Imran Khan, he added.

The foreign minister said in the last eight months railway started more trains and carried huge number of passengers and generated the revenue during Eid was unprecedented.

The minister said listening to each other’s viewpoint would raise dignity of the Parliament and strengthen democracy.