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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif demanded on Thursday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to present within 24 hours proof of money laundering against him or resign from office.
“The NAB chairman should present all evidence against me within 24 hours,” Nawaz said while addressing an emergency press conference at the Punjab House.
“If you fail to present evidence, then you should publicly apologise to the nation and resign,” he demanded further.
Nawaz criticised NAB for holding an inquiry against him and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India.
The emergency presser comes days after World Bank refuted media reports claiming its Remittances and Migration Report included the mention of money laundering or named individuals.
“It has been proven now how the head of an institution [NAB] made my media trial a mission,” he said.The former premier continued, “The severity of the allegations cannot be ignored.”
Stating that NAB has “lost all its credibility” following “baseless allegations” against him, Nawaz said, “How did this column surface again after four months.” He was referring to the media report on which the NAB took notice and launced a probe.
“Did the NAB chairman ask World Bank or State Bank about these allegations?” he questioned.
Further asking why the NAB chairman felt the urgency to issue a press statement late night on “a nameless press column”, Nawaz said, “The World Bank had also refuted these claims two years ago.”
The former premier alleged, “Conspiracies are being hatched to forge new cases against me and sentence me in them.”
“This is shameless pre-poll rigging,” the three-time prime minister asserted.
Regarding the Panama Papers case, Nawaz said, “Panama Papers did not even mention my name. But all that unfolded afterward is in front of everyone.””For the past nine months, a show has been put up and countless witnesses have been made to appear before the court,” he further said.
Nawaz alleged, “People from my party [PML-N] are being told they should leave and join PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] or contest elections as independent candidates and if they do not, then NAB will open cases against them.”
“There is a nexus,” he claimed once again referring to ‘aliens’.
Claiming that he is being targeted, Nawaz said, “90 per cent of NAB’s current cases revolve around us.”
“If there was any credible evidence against me then a judgment would have been made in 10 days and the case would not have been going on for nine months,” he upheld. Nawaz added, “They want to keep running cases against me till they fabricate and manufacture something to sentence me under.”
Criticising other politicians against whom corruption proceedings have been ongoing for years and they are yet to appear in court, Nawaz said he has made almost 70 appearances before the court in the trial against him.
The former premier continued, “JIT could not prove corruption allegations against me.”
Nawaz further said he will not go to anyone seeking an apology or commutation of sentence. “I will not plead for mercy if sentenced,” he asserted.
Responding to a question regarding ‘aliens’, Nawaz said, “They are not visible.”
“Aliens have been present for the last 70 years and will now confront those present on the ground,” he added.
The former premier said, “People on ground will defeat aliens.”
Speaking about the alliance between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Peoples Party, Nawaz said, “The nexus goes back to Tahirul Qadri’s All Parties Conference,” referring to the Canada-based Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief.
“Ask Imran if he voted in favour of the arrow [PPP’s electoral symbol] or not,” he said.
The NAB had ordered an inquiry against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and others for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India earlier today. The NAB chairman had taken notice of a media report that claimed that the incident was mentioned in the World Bank’s Migration and Remittance Book 2016.However, a press release issued by the World Bank on May 8 read, “The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals.”
According to the press release, the bank’s Remittances and Migration Report was ‘an effort […] to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world.’
The statement also referred to a press release issued by the State Bank of Pakistan that rejected estimates of US $4.9 billion remittances from Pakistan to India on September 21, 2016.