KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday termed the arrest of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durranias an unacceptable and undemocratic attempt to dislodge the provincial government.
Bilawal tweeted, “Hum Baynami wazeer-e-azam ko baywardi Aamriat Qaaim nahi karnay dainga [We will not let a fake prime minister be a dictator without a uniform].”
“Attack on speaker of federating unit is [an] unacceptable, undemocratic attempt to dislodge Sindh govt. Failed before will fail again. Independent institutions shouldn’t unwittingly be part of political engineering,” he added.
Earlier today, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Durrani from Islamabad. NAB had initiated three separate inquiries against Durrani last year for allegedly owning assets beyond means, illegally recruiting 352 individuals on various government positions and embezzlement of funds for the construction of the MPA Hostel and construction of the new Sindh Assembly building.
What message is NAB trying to send, asks Wahab
Sindh Chief Minister’s Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab on Wednesday criticised NAB for arresting Durrani and questioned what message they are trying to send.
Addressing the media in Karachi, Wahab said, “What message are you trying to convey by arresting a sitting speaker?”
“If any of our members have been involved in corruption then conduct an inquiry against them but do not arrest them like this,” he lashed out moments after NAB arrested the Sindh Assembly speaker from Islamabad.
Questioning whether NAB laws are only for PPP, Wahab said, “Are there different rules for PPP and different for PTI? Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and NA Speaker Asad Qaiser are all facing NAB inquiries but have not been arrested.”
“This arrest is wrong and especially because it comes at a time when a Sindh Assembly session has been summoned,” he added and urged that NAB should “think twice” before taking such measures.
Stating that “an inquiry is ongoing against Durrani and nothing has been proven”, Wahab said, “How can you arrest someone when a case hasn’t been proven against them?”
He continued, “The speaker should have been sent a questionnaire and he would have answered it.”
“Such arrests won’t make any difference. People of Sindh have voted for PPP and will stand firmly by us,” he asserted.
The PPP leader also urged courts to take notice of the arrest. “When a fake party cannot win votes it resorts to such tactics,” he said.
Wahab further said that the arrests are being made for “political victimisation”. “Durrani is a PPP member and not a part of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) or PTI which is why he has been arrested.”
“PPP should not be pushed against a wall,” he said.