Flawed accountability.


AHSAN Iqbal has become the latest casualty of the farce being carried out in the name of accountability. The PML-N leader was arrested by NAB on Thursday for alleged corruption in the Narowal Sports City project.

In recent weeks, the comparatively reticent politician had grown increasingly critical about the PTI government's performance on various fronts; last week, he expressed unequivocal support for the verdict against retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, the only senior leader from his party to do so. An accountability court yesterday granted NAB 13-day physical remand of Mr Iqbal.

One would have to be bereft of all reason not to see this accountability season for the political witch-hunt that it is. Even though NAB claims to be an independent body, its actions manifest none of the impartiality that true independence demands. Almost without exception, only opposition figures appear to be in its cross hairs - Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur, to name but a few.

Even where investigations have been launched into any individual or project associated with the PTI, NAB has been lackadaisical in pursuing them. Consider the Malam Jabba and Peshawar BRT projects in KP; the accountability body says that references are prepared and ready to be filed. However, contrary to the alacrity on display in the case of opposition leaders, NAB has yet to take action against the alleged perpetrators. It has not even challenged the Supreme Court's stay order, issued over a year ago, on further inquiry into the BRT project.

The pattern smacks of an institution acting as an...

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