The PTI traded barbs with the PML-N in the National Assembly after the latter accused it of using the accountability watchdog to victimize the opposition leadership. Former prime minister and PML-N MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while addressing the House that NA Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif was arrested, however till date no case has been formed against him, it seems accountability institutions are being used to exert pressure on opposition parties. The arrest of two more figures belonging to the PML-N former federal minister for railways Saad Rafique and his brother Salman has added fuel to the fire over alleged accountability witch-hunt. The NAB stroke became doable after the LHC dismissed their bail pleas. The arrest came just a day before a by-election on a Punjab Assembly seat vacated by Saad Rafique. The arrests of the Rafique brothers have been sought by NAB in a high-profile misuse of power and corruption case involving a housing scheme that is allegedly controlled by the brothers. At this stage, it remains unclear what proof the anti-graft watchdog has amassed against the brothers. Without a doubt, at this point of time, it come into view that PML-N leaders who are tough opponents of the government or up-front about meddling in politics by anti-democratic forces in the state swiftly find themselves confronting National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation and even taken into custody. Conceivably most worrying are the tactics being employed by NAB. Among the PML-N or the PPP, there is no political personality who has cast off the likelihood of being probed or has made any effort to avoid inquiry. In reality, several opposition leaders have termed the NAB investigations against them as an insignia of respect, and have cooperated with NAB and the courts as made obligatory under the law. However NAB continues to use draconian tactics such as rounding up individuals even during the investigation stage. The crimes opposition personalities are charged with are of serious nature, but under the law quick arrest and protracted detention during the investigation phase is prohibited. It is extremely abnormal to take into custody the individuals who are cooperating with investigators as required by the law. No rational mind in the country would say that corruption is not a grave national problem. But there is also an undeniable model of NAB demeanor that allegedly shows a political spotlight on the PML-N and the PPP only that goes beyond NAB’s legal mandate. The more NAB resorts to such tactics, the less legitimacy and public acceptance it will have, the thin covering will all but vanish and what shall remain is the same old practice that chips away at the public trust in the state and the elected government.
There is also an undeniable model of NAB demeanor that allegedly shows a political spotlight on the PML-N and the PPP only that goes beyond NAB’s legal mandate.