KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution lambasting National Accountability Bureau for adopting ‘double standards’ while arresting Sharjeel Inam Memon from Sindh High Court premise and called it an attempt to create political turmoil through such acts.

The opposition parties however, opposed the resolution saying that it was aimed at saving an individual and using assembly to hide corrupt practices.

The resolution was tabled by PPPP MPA Khursheed Junejo and was adopted by the house through majority vote of the PPP MPAs.

It stated that the House strongly condemned the ‘biased’ policies of National Accountability Bureau as shown in the arrest of MPA Sharjeel Inam Memon towards who evidence personally driven adopted to tarnish the image and to create a political turmoil.

This arbitrary treatment by the NAB is completely discriminatory, unlawful and in contrary to article 25 of the constitution.

Sharjeel Memon returned to Pakistan to face any charges against him. He showed his confidence in the law and courts of Pakistan for justice.

Whereas it may have been expedient for him to not to return to Pakistan and counter the accusation against him, proves his commitment to justice and his faith in judiciary.

This House also resolves and recommends that the Sindh government approach the federal government to adopt a uniform policy throughout Pakistan judicial system and to strictly follow it through. No citizen of any status shall have separate law deriving from his caste, religion, and or political affiliation. We shall practice and promote equality which will strengthen the public’s confidence in courts and law.

Speaking on it, Junejo said that Sharjeel Memon returned to Pakistan to face his cases in courts but he was arrested.

“Lawmakers have the mandate of the people and we will register our protest over biased action of NAB in Sindh province,” he said.

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the resolution was not against the courts instead our reservations are on NAB which is an institution not a court.

“I will repeat myself that accountability is provincial prerogative after the provincial assembly bill and NAB is not a constitutional institution instead it was formed by a dictator.”

“Sharjeel appeared before the court and did not try to escape from court when his bail was rejected,” he said adding that it was also contempt of the Sindh High Court that a respected citizen was arrested from its premises.

“There are several footages where lawmakers ran away after their bails have been rejected,” he said. He asked as to why they should not raise voice over wrong acts of an unconstitutional person. He said that our criticism should not be termed as attack on institutions instead as a citizen of the province they had the right to speak against any injustice. “We will continue to criticise under the law,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion PPP MPA Sharjeel Inam Memon said that the NAB had adopted double standards in treating his case and that of Captain Safdar –Son in law of Nawaz Sharif.

“NAB officials took me along with them when I landed in Islamabad despite having bail orders,” he said.

He, however, pointed out a difference in case of Capt (r) Safdar and said that when Capt (r) Safdar landed at Islamabad airport, the same NAB officials were barred from the airport.

Memon also questioned the NAB’s criteria for placing people’s names on the ECL and requested the newly-instated NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal to check the criteria for putting people on the ECL.

He asked as how many people who are investigated by NAB are being placed on ECL and said that why names of Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar was not on it.

“It is double standard that Nawaz Sharif is out of the country, Ishaq Dar is travelling all over the world holding meetings but their names are not placed on ECL despite ongoing probe and skipping court proceedings,” he said adding that it was not the first time that the Sharif family was treated differently from everyone else in this country. Memon further asked as if it was not a contempt of court when the law says that no arrests are to be made inside the court’s premises and he was arrested from the steps of the court on Oct 23.

“There are a number of other points I can raise about my trial here, but this is not the forum to do that. However, I still want to know under what law are the 11 people arrested along with me being kept in custody, since there were no arrest warrants issued for them in the first place,” he said.

Memon added that he was ready to answer “any questions” regarding the cases against him.

Opposition criticises resolution

Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hassan said that they condemn the way MPA Sharjeel Inam Memon was arrested and they should have devised a proper way to arrest a lawmaker.

He further said that Sharjeel Memon should also face courts and prove his innocence in them.

“Why a resolution is being brought in assembly to support an individual person,” he said adding that Sharjeel was applauded for appearing before courts and should use similar course to prove his innocence.

He further asked as to who can oppose that there is no corruption in Sindh province and it is not only damaging the institutions but also becoming a source of increased terrorism.

“The conduct of the provincial government in lodging fake cases against political opponents should be considered while making complaints over lodging protest with federal government on Sharjeel’s case,’ he said adding that the government should first ensure speedy justice then it should raise figures on others.

PML-F lawmaker Shaheryar Maher said that the resolution speaking against itself as it is calling for the respect of institution and it was a contempt of court in my opinion.

“I admit that there is a lacking in NAB rules and regulations and they needed to be corrected,’ he said.

Liaquat Jatoi said that more people from the PPP now have to face NAB due to their financial irregularities. “How could a party be clear when its chief is facing corruption charges,” he said while referring to PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari.

He asked as to why a man accused of financial irregularities is being given a warm welcome while coming to Sindh assembly. “The PPP leadership had to return each and every rupee looted from national exchequer,” he said adding that PTI has become the replacement of PPP in Sindh and after coming in to power they would turn these palaces made from looted money into public universities.

PML-F MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi accused PPP of using assembly to hide its corruption and said that assembly should be used for legislation rather than corruption.

Khurram Sher Zaman said that the information officer who is complainant in Sharjeel Inam Meon case is being threatened and the chief minister should take notice of it. “If Sharjeel is innocent then he should take oath of innocence on Quran and we will support him,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the House refereed an adjournment motion in order to discuss the recent census results on Thursday.  The chief minister asked to defer the matter to Thursday and said that since the matter was of important nature therefore, it should be discussed on Thursday in order have a full debate on the issue.  

The House was later adjourned for Thursday.