Pakistan anti-graft body to delay arrest of candidates till after polls
National Accountability Bureau has decided to show restraint in ongoing cases till the elections to dispel the impression of alleged prejudice on the part of the bureau in pending cases.world Updated: Jul 06, 2018 09:01 IST
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has announced it will put any arrests of candidates in the general elections on hold till the election day on July 25, and cease ongoing anti-graft probes against all politicians.
The move by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) drew a mixed reaction, with many criticising it.
NAB also announced on Wednesday it was halting probes into cases against former foreign minister Khawaja Asif and other former provincial and state ministers from the PML-N party. All investigations, the bureau said, will resume after July 25.
The executive board of NAB decided to put these cases on hold because no breakthroughs were expected till July 25, a spokesperson said.
“NAB wants to make it clear that it has nothing to do with politics and elections. The decision to put off investigations into pending cases against politicians has been made to reflect this fact,” said a statement issued after the executive board held a meeting.
The NAB spokesperson added the bureau will comply with all court orders in letter and spirit during this period after conducting due diligence. He said the executive board, NAB’s highest decision-making body, had decided to show restraint in ongoing cases till the elections to dispel the impression of alleged prejudice on the part of the bureau in pending cases.
While some welcomed the decision, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said it was a “clear violation” of the country’s laws that don’t bar any institution from arresting any individual involved in corruption “just because he or she is contesting elections”.
He said NAB needs to revisit its order.
First Published: Jul 06, 2018 09:00 IST