KARACHI, Feb 21 (SABAH): Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, while addressing a press conference in Karachi, slammed the manner in which National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials behaved with family members of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani after his arrest.Shah questioned why a NAB team felt the need to “raid” Durrani’s house after his arrest if they already had evidence against him and had arrested the speaker.
Durrani was arrested by NAB authorities from outside a hotel in Islamabad yesterday. According to NAB officials, the PPP leader is facing an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income as well as for allegedly embezzling public fundS.
Following his arrest on Wednesday, NAB had obtained three-day transit remand of the PPP leader.
Chief Minister Sindh on Thursday alleged that NAB officials had “scaled the walls” of Durrani’s house and “broken the gates to the residence when there was no male member of the family present at home, just Durrani’s wife, three daughters and daughter-in-law”.
He alleged that the people who entered Durrani’s house remained there for over five hours. Shah said he had tried to speak to the NAB chairman to defuse the situation but was unsuccessful.
Shah said that last night at around 10:30pm, at which point those who entered Durrani’s house had already been there for five hours, he spoke to “some people” who told him they would leave in five minutes. However, after this it still took them a further one and a half hours to leave, he alleged.
He claimed that they made the speaker’s daughter sign something. “Who knows what they took [from the house]?” he asked.The chief minister added that the family had not yet been given a seizure memo, which he said would be presented in court
.While addressing the NAB Chairman, Shah said his subordinates were ruining his name as well as that of the institution.He noted that the NAB chairman had remained a respectable judge of the Supreme Court and knew about the law and added that the chairman should fix his own house first.
He asked the chairman to take action against those who behaved in this manner.Shah said that a Sindh Assembly session had been called today (Friday) at 2:00 PM to protest Durrani’s arrest and the treatment of female members of his family.He requested the NAB chairman to take notice of the incident and added that his subordinates were ruining the name of this institution (NAB), adding that when police had behaved in a certain way in Sindh he (Shah) had taken action as he was responsible if there was any problem in Sindh.
Similarly, Shah added that the NAB chairman was responsible if his subordinate behaved in a certain way.According to the chief minister, a subordinate had “blown cigarette smoke” at one of Durrani’s daughters.
“Would you tolerate such behaviour, how will we tolerate it?” he asked.Shah also noted that the acting speaker of the Sindh Assembly had issued the production orders for Durrani, which he was entitled to as an MPA.
He called on the NAB chairman to fulfill the constitutional requirement and permit Durrani to participate in the Sindh Assembly session scheduled for today (Friday).
The chief minister said that they were not shying from facing accountability. He said his party would use the legal avenues available to them and also had a right to protest wrongdoings.”But to humiliate someone, especially to humiliate a family, is an act below humanity,” he said, adding that NAB employees had done so and ruined the name of NAB as an institution.
Meanwhile in a letter to the Director General of NAB Karachi, the secretary of the Sindh Assembly noted that the speaker had summoned Durrani to attend the session of the provincial assembly set to start tomorrow and asked the bureau to ensure his production.