Opposition should provide money trail: Qureshi

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday said that the opposition leaders should produce money trail to the National Accountability Bureau instead of playing the card of political victimization.

“Whenever NAB acts, it is called political victimization or is threatened to siege. In every civilized society, no one is above law … it feels Khawaja Asif could not satisfy NAB on the allegations of money laundering and assets beyond means,” he said addressing a press conference here along with Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz and Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan.

The foreign minister said instead of hurling allegations, the opposition leaders should come up with evidences to nullify the NAB’s allegations.

He told media that Khawaja Asif was invited by NAB to explain his position in the case and it was only he who could respond to the queries raised on his properties and assets.

The foreign minister said following the arrest of Khawaja Asif, the facts were becoming clearer as why the opposition had been linking its support to FATF legislation with the abolition of 34 or 38 clauses in NAB law.

“Today, I understand…We were astonished as what was the link between NAB law and FATF. As the things are opening up, it shows they were using FATF as shield to amend NAB law,” the foreign minister remarked.

He said despite government’s efforts to delink the proposed amendments in NAB law with FATF legislation, the opposition was adamant to link their support with acceptance of their demand.

He said things were exposing with the cases of money laundering against opposition leaders and that was why they were seeking National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

“NRO is name of relief. It was a programme to save their skin and seek deliverance,” he said.

He told media that even the supporters of Maulana Fazlur Rehman also questioned as how NAB could dare call their leader to explain his assets.

He recalled that Imran Khan never declared himself above law when he was asked to proves his assets rather he produced even decades old documentary evidences for his defence. The opposition should also follow the same course and provide money trail, he added.

He told media that NAB was an independent institution not answerable to the government. Even PTI leadership had nothing to do with the appointment of NAB chairman, who was appointed by the PPP and PML-N during the latter’s government.

To a question, the foreign minister said the government was ready to talk to the opposition at the parliamentary forum, except on the NRO and NAB law.

He made it clear that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not resign by January 31, as demanded by the opposition, so they should go on with their agenda.

He said the PDM had been shattered following the PPP’s decision on Tuesday.

However, he questioned the PPP as if they wanted to quit assemblies, why they decided to take part in bye-poll.

Moreover, the seriousness of the PML-N regarding resignation was also exposed when the National Assembly Speaker called two of their members to verify their resignations submitted with the NA Secretariat and they refused to appear.

“They are just giving false hopes to the people. PDM should find out as who had cheated them,” he questioned.