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Chairman bars NAB officers from giving media interviews

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ISLAMABAD: The Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday barred all its officers from giving any media interviews after opposition politicians accused its top official in Lahore of conducting a “media trial”.

In a press release here today, Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, the head of the anti-corruption watchdog, said only the bureau’s spokesperson would be responsible for giving NAB’s version to the media and public.

NAB respects all the honourable members of the assembly, the chairman said in the press release. He added that the bureau has sought a record of media interviews by NAB Director-General Lahore Maj (retd) Shahzad Saleem from the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

Last week, leaders of opposition parties accused Saleem of carrying out a “media trial” of opposition politicians and tabled a privilege motion in the National Assembly urging the “immediate intervention” of the House in the matter.

On Thursday, Saleem appeared on at least five political talk shows on different TV channels to talk about the ongoing corruption allegations against former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Addressing a press conference, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi the DG NAB’s interviews a form of “political revenge”.

“It has become clear what NAB is doing,” the PML-N leader said. “A NAB official is conducting media trial of MNAs on the directions of the accountability watchdog’s chairman.”

Appearing on Local News’ show ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’, Saleem said that the anti-corruption watchdog would file a reference by the end of this month against Shehbaz, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.

Earlier today, the NAB chairman was briefed at the bureau’s office in the provincial capital on major corruption cases and the matter pertaining to the director-general’s TV interviews.

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