ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to present proof of money laundering by him within next 24 hours else tender his resignation.
"The NAB chairman should present all evidence against me within 24 hours. If he fails to do so, then he should publicly apologize and resign," he said addressing a press conference here at the Punjab House.
Nawaz Sharif criticized NAB for holding an inquiry against him and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India. "It has now been proven how head of an institution (NAB) has made my media trial his mission," he said.
"The severity of allegations cannot be ignored," he said, adding that NAB had "lost its entire credibility" after initiating inquiry over "baseless allegations" against him.
"How did this column surface again after four months?" he asked referring to the media report on which NAB had taken notice and launched the probe.
"Did the NAB chairman inquire from the World Bank and the State Bank about these allegations?" he questioned.
He said without investigating the matter of money laundering or asking from the World Bank and the State Bank, NAB released a press release regarding the inquiry. The two institutions had already clearly stated that no money laundering was done and nobody was involved in any such act.
Expressing serious concern over NAB's action, he questioned why the Bureau was in a hurry to issue the press release at night. "NAB has not only done my character assassination but has also damaged the country's image and national interest," he added.
Nawaz Sharif said, "Our legal team is making consultations and further action will be taken in days to come."
Referring to NAB cases, he claimed that no accountability was being done rather the Sharif family was being victimised. Moreover, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was also being targeted, he added.
He said cases were being filed against the PML-N leaders to weaken political forces and democracy. "It all is pre-poll rigging, which is against law and the Constitution," the three-time prime minister asserted.
"I am thankful to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for raising the point on the floor of parliament," he said.
Nawaz Sharif said all the political parties should unitedly take up the matter for supremacy of parliament.
He appreciated that most of the media had highlighted the facts after the press release was issued by NAB.
Replying to a question, he alleged that the PML-N members were being pressurized to change loyalties to avoid NAB cases against them. "NAB is being used for the purpose," he claimed.
The public at large were not supporting the elements, who were quitting one party to join the other for personal gains, he said.
He said some politicians against whom corruption proceedings had been going on for years, had yet to appear in the court, but he (Nawaz) had made almost 70 appearances before the trial court. APP/AFP