QUETTA - Members of opposition parties walked out of Balochistan Assembly on Saturday, saying it would continue to do so as long as the provincial cabinet was in function.

Yesterday’s session saw heated debate in the provincial assembly regarding arrest of the finance secretary, with former chief minister Abdul Malik Baloch saying he was unaware of the corruption during his two-and-a-half-year tenure as the chief minister.

“I was unaware of the whole corruption situation. I think the measures NAB has taken against corruption are positive and they should continue,” he told the assembly.

Informing the provincial legislature that he wanted across-the-board accountability, the former chief minister said, “I’m ready to present myself before the bureau.”

Mir Khalid Humayun Langau, who had announced his resignation as the finance adviser a day earlier, rose in support of Baloch, saying, “If he (Baloch) has even done corruption of one lakh rupees, I will resign.”

He also said that “being the finance adviser” he was somewhat responsible for the corruption in Balochistan as he was “unable to monitor the situation carefully”.

In a major development Friday, NAB seized more than Rs 730 million from the residence of Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani, who was arrested from his office.

Officials said that Rs 730 million worth of national and foreign currency and prize bonds were recovered from the serving bureaucrat's residence. The finance department was sealed during the raid.

NAB Balochistan Director General Tariq Mahmood Khan stated that the sum of cash recovered from the residence of Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Raisani is the largest in the country’s history.

Talking to media persons in Quetta, the DG NAB said that Rs 651.8 million have been recovered from Mushtaq Raisani which had to be transferred abroad through illegal channels.

“All the records in this regard have been sealed and most of the amount of Rs 125 million had to be distributed in two constituencies of Machh and Mangocher,” he said and maintained that the matter was being investigated and zero tolerance policy would be adopted.

He further said that it is premature to comment on the alleged involvement of any political figure in this mega corruption case.

Khan clarified that NAB will not be pressurised and that corruption in the country will be curbed, he said.

RAISANI SENT ON 14-DAY

PHYSICAL REMAND

A judicial magistrate in Quetta handed over Balochistan finance secretary Mushtaq Raisani to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on 14-day physical remand in corruption case.

NAB authorities on Saturday produced the accused in the court of Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Hanif. During the case proceeding, the court granted 14-day physical remand of the accused on NAB prosecutor Muhammad Zameer Chalgari’s request.

The accused informed the court that he is suffering from diabetes. The court ordered NAB to provide full medical facilities to the finance secretary.

Meanwhile, Balochistan government announced suspension of Mushtaq Raisani in a late-night notification. The notification explains that the secretary finance was suspended following his arrest by the anti-corruption watchdog.

Raisani, an influential bureaucrat in Balochistan, has served as secretary finance for the last few years. He served in same position during the PPP government’s term.