ISLAMABAD: Former Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday, severely criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for only targeting the lawmakers of Sindh.
The PPP leader said he had returned to Pakistan to face all the pending cases against him.
Putting my name in the Exit Control List (ECL) was an attempt to frame me as no government institution informed me prior to its issuance and no investigation was initiated against me, said Memon. I was was never given a notice. I was never called [for an investigation]. There was no case, neither an FIR nor an inquiry,” Memon said, adding he had approached the high court to find out why his name was put on the ECL. Putting someone’s name on the ECL without issuing any prior notice to them was an “extreme step”, he maintained.
He thrashed NAB, accusing the anti-corruption watchdog of favouring certain government ministers over others. The Supreme Court had told NAB to put together a list of mega corruption scams. When the list was presented, it contained the name of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and many other ministers from Punjab, Sharjeel Inam Memon claimed. But once the list was presented before the court, were the names of those people placed on the ECL too? Memon inquired.
If the law is the same for everyone in this country, why weren’t their names also included in the ECL like his he stressed. Sharjeel Inam Memon also accused the ministers and politicians of subjecting NAB to harsh criticism after the anti-corruption body released the list, claiming that NAB stopped conducting its investigations in Punjab following the harsh criticism. If I am found guilty, I will not seek any leniency in the punishment, he maintained.
Sharjeel Inam Memon concluded his almost two years long self-imposed exile and returned to Pakistan on Saturday. He was arrested at Islamabad airport and taken to NAB office, where he was later released after verification of his bail before arrest orders and written undertaking from his lawyer that he will comply with authorities’ orders. The former provincial minister is facing several charges of monetary misappropriation and corruption. The NAB chairman had filed a reference against Sharjeel Inam Memon in connection with alleged misconduct in payments regarding advertising campaigns. Sharjeel Inam Memon rebuffed the accusations levelled against him, saying he had never “fled from the country”.
The former minister claimed that the references on the charges of corruption were filed against him months after he had left the country over medical grounds. Revealing details about his arrest last night, Sharjeel Inam Memon said people in plain clothes had come to arrest him. “I asked them to introduce themselves. But they never did. I kept asking them in the car that who were they. But they never introduced themselves until we reached the NAB office, Sharjeel Inam Memon claimed. The former minister also rejected the way he was nabbed, saying he will not call it an arrest but will term it kidnapping. What kind of law is this? Is this the law of the jungle? Sharjeel Inam Memon remarked.