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Maryam Nawaz Says NAB Wasting Taxpayers Money on Political Engineering

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LAHORE– Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz broke on Tuesday her months-long silence only to publicly denounce Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog.

She said the National Accountability Bureau would have to answer for wasting taxpayers money on “political engineering”.

“Injustice should not only be done but it should also be seen to be done,” Maryam sarcastically said was the motto of the accountability watchdog. “Political engineering should not only be done but it should also be seen to be done.”

The PML-N vice president was addressing a press conference in Lahore hours after she went to the NAB office to answer questions in a new case against her. But due to clashes between the police and the party supporters, she was told to return home.

Referring to clashes, she said the reason to summon her to the NAB office was to cause “harm” to her.

“Pervaiz Rashid said that had the vehicle not been bulletproof, the bricks and stones would have hit me,” Maryam said. “After that they unofficially told me to return.”

The PML-N leader accused the government of using NAB to hide its declining popularity among the masses.

She said she and her father Nawaz Sharif were arrested by NAB before 2018 elections because “political engineering” could not be done without doing so.

“In another reference, they kept me in a cell for 60 days but didn’t ask a single question about the case,” Maryam claimed. “The reference has not yet been filed even after more than a year.

“They used to ask me that the PML-N is a big political party, how much say you have in the party. What’s the process of consultation in your party? How much pocket money do you get? Who’s your favourite author?” said Maryam, referring to her interrogation by NAB officials in previous cases. “But they didn’t ask me a single question about the case.”

The PML-N leader said the government was afraid of the PML-N because “internal surveys” show the graph of the PML-N and Nawaz Sharif is still on the rise in Punjab.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan has himself said that the government has been given six months to mend its ways.

“What will happen to you when the period of six months that you have been given will end,” she asked.

Information minister grills Maryam for leading wedding party  

Information Minister Shibli Faraz said NAB summoned Maryam to answer its questions, but the PML-N leader took a “baraat (wedding party)” to the NAB office.

“The Punjab chief minister was summoned four times and he always reached [the NAB office] alone,” Faraz said, speaking at a press conference after the cabinet meeting.

He said the PML-N media wing staged a “drama” in Lahore to divert attention from the matter. “Public attention isn’t going to be diverted, Maryam Nawaz will have to answer.”

The minister said Maryam and her party were responsible for the current state of the country. He said they will have to answer for their deeds.