–PML-N leader demands investigation into accountability watchdog’s ‘interrogation’ methods
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Saad Rafique on Friday accused the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of allegedly drugging those in its custody to influence their statements.
Addressing the National Assembly, Saad Rafique said, “During (Pervez) Musharraf’s time, NAB was used to coerce people into switching loyalties. Those who were with Musharraf were considered ‘Mr Clean’ and those who stood firmly by their viewpoints were punished by NAB. These were unfortunate times.”
Rafique lamented, “PML-N and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were given chances but despite attempts, both the parties were unable to amend the draconian NAB law. We are responsible for this.”
“Several lawmakers believe the NAB law has completed its time. However, despite this NAB is being used as a tool to force people into switching political loyalties,” he added.
“Kamran Mujahid [former vice chancellor of the Punjab University] had earlier exposed NAB’s injustices and inappropriate behaviour, and even Shehbaz Sharif has said similar things. It has been told that NAB imprisons people in a room which is 10×10 in size.”
The PML-N leader further alleged, “When NAB failed to find any financial transaction against me, they arrested Qaiser Amin Butt and have been drugging him in NAB’s Lahore office. If his blood and urine test is conducted, the truth will come out before everyone.”
“People are also tortured and coerced into giving statements of NAB’s choice,” he further alleged.
Claiming that “humans are treated worse than animals in NAB custody”, Rafique said, “All this is happening in a Pakistan where we have a judicial system and a constitution.”
Rafique explained that he is apprising the National Assembly regarding this so lawmakers are “aware that NAB is inflicting injustice upon people”. “People have been captured in cages and the House should take notice of this. Those who are in custody should be granted basic human rights.”
“There is a 14-day remand for those involved in terrorism while those suspected of involvement in white-collar crimes are caged on the 9th day and cameras are also installed in washrooms. DG Lahore himself has a fake degree and no one questions him,” he added.
Rafique also suggested formation of a fact-finding committee of the House to visit NAB lock-ups and jails.