Karachi: On Monday, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto stated that he will not appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on December 24th.
“The call-up notice sent to me by accountability watchdog is ‘unconstitutional and illlegal’,” PPP chairman said.
According to Dawn, the anti-corruption watchdog had summoned the PPP head for a second time this month in the fake bank accounts and money laundering case on December 24th.
While speaking to media at a press conference in Karachi, the PPP chairperson accused Imran Khan led PTI government of creating obstacles in his party’s plans to observed former prime minister Benazir Bhutto Shaheed’s death anniversary on December 27th.
Hours after the arrest of PML-N stalwart Ahsan Iqbal in the Narowal Sports City (NSC) corruption case, During his press release, Bilawal challenged the anti-corruption watchdog to arrest him “if they have the courage,” Dawn reported.
The PPP chairperson said that he had repeatedly announced that the PPP would observe Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary on December 27thin Rawalpindi, where she was assassinated, Dawn reported. “Despite this I was issued a call-up notice by the “NAB-Government nexus.”
“Government is preventing a son from observing the death anniversary of his mother,” said Bilawal.
The PPP chief shared with the media that the government hasn’t issued permission to hold the death anniversary ceremony. He also accused it of hindering PPP workers from making transportation arrangements in connection with the event.
“On December 27th I will reach Liaquat Bagh and observed Bibi’s death anniversary by all means,” Bilawal announced, adding that the nation needed to be shown a way out of its current despair, Dawn reported.
He said the former chief justice of Pakistan had stated that the PPP chairperson had “nothing to do” with the fake case accounts case after receiving a report of the joint investigation team probing the matter.
Despite this, Bilawal said, he had appeared before NAB to answer its questions and also responded to the bureau’s questionnaires.
“The PPP had neither come under pressure earlier nor will I come under any pressure today,” Bilawal declared, adding that he has conveyed to NAB through his lawyers that he will not appear before it on Tuesday.
Despite his objections regarding NAB’s functioning, Bilawal said he will continue to appear before the bureau — but not on Dec 24 — because “I respect the rule of law of this country and I can face all these illegitimate accusations,” Dawn reported.
The PPP chairperson accused the government of repeatedly “targeting” opposition parties and keeping their members incarcerated for months without charge. “What kind of accountability is this?” Bilawal asked, appealing to the judiciary to intervene and protect human rights, according to Dawn.
Bilawal said the NAB chairman had stated earlier this month that references were ready to be filed in the (BRT) and Malam Jabba resort project cases, but questioned whether any minister from the PTI-led KP government was issued a call-up notice, Dawn reported.
Answering a question, PPP chairman said there was no chance of him being arrested by NAB.
“We are not scared of any arrest. I will be more dangerous for them if they arrest me. If you have the courage, then arrest me,” Dawn reported Bilawal as saying.
According to NAB, Bilawal had 25 per cent shares in a private firm, Opal-225, a joint venture of the Zardari Group, Dawn reported.
Bilawal’s spokesman Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, in a statement on Friday, had confirmed that the PPP chief had received the notice for Dec 24 and alleged that the government was taking revenge from the opposition through NAB.