Islamabad, May 10 (IANS) Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday sought an apology from Pakistan’s anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and demanded the resignation of its Chairman Javed Iqbal if the watchdog fails to prove money laundering allegations against him.
Addressing a press conference at the Punjab House here, Sharif gave a 24-hour deadline to NAB to provide evidence against him and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India.
“The NAB Chairman should present all evidence against me within 24 hours. If you fail to present evidence, then you should publicly apologise to the nation and resign,” he was quoted as saying by Geo News.
“NAB’s vindictive approach is weakening democracy,” claimed Nawaz. Earlier this week, the watchdog swung into action about two years after a media report alleged that $4.9 billion was laundered from Pakistan to India in 2016.
However, the World Bank refuted media reports claiming its Remittances and Migration Report included the mention of money laundering or named individuals.
“It has been proven now how the head of an institution (NAB) made my media trial a mission. References against me in NAB are related to baseless media reports.”
Sharif said that NAB had “lost all its credibility” following “baseless allegations” and claimed “conspiracies were being hatched to forge new cases against me and sentence me in them”.
“This is shameless pre-poll rigging,” the three-time Prime Minister asserted.
He was disqualified by the Supreme Court in 2017 in the so-called Panama Papers case for concealing in his nomination papers the receivable income from his son’s company in the UAE.
“Panama Papers did not even mention my name. But all that unfolded afterward is in front of everyone.
“For the past nine months, a show has been put up and countless witnesses have been made to appear before the court,” Sharif said.
He further said: “People from my party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) are being told they should leave and join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or contest elections as independent candidates and if they do not, then NAB will open cases against them.”
“There is a nexus… 90 per cent of NAB’s current cases revolve around us.”