Karachi - Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ijaz Ahmed Shah said yesterday that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman was appointed by the PPP and PML-N and PTI or Imran Khan had no role in arrests made by the bureau.

“If we have any role in arrests made by NAB, we would not have allowed it to arrest our senior minister Aleem Khan and another minister Sibtain Khan in a 2008 case,” he said, adding, the anti-graft body was an autonomous body.

“The accountability process has begun and whosoever has done wrong will face the music while others will be set free,” said the federal minister in a presser at Governor House. Sindh governor and PTI lawmakers were also present on the occasion.

He said federal ministers were removed over performance not corruption and if they had done any wrongdoing they would be behind bars.

He said he had a good meeting with chief minister and he expressed his desire for working together. “The country is represented by PTI, PPP and others and we all have to work together for it,” he said while responding to a query regarding differences with Sindh government.

The federal minister is in city for the last two days. Ijaz Shah met security officials and political leadership of the province including leaders of coalition partners of PTI.

“I have applauded efforts of security men for improving law and order situation in the province especially Karachi and asked them to continue their good work,” he said.

Smuggling second biggest menace after corruption

To a query as to how PTI knew beforehand which opposition lawmaker was going to be arrested, the interior minister said that there was nothing surprising in it as those who had done wrong had to face this situation.  “Even media persons know who is going to be arrested in coming days,” he said.

He said Hafiz Saeed’s arrest indicated a big change in policy of the country, credit of which went to the PTI.

The prime minister had clearly stated that there was no need for such organisations as maintaining law and order was responsibility of the government and if the country had to move ahead then there should be no warlords, he added.

“It is the government who should call the shots,” he said, adding, that army and government was on one page over policy issues and it was strength of this government.

“We have even taken over their welfare projects and now no one is above the law,” Ijaz said, adding, that these jihadist organisations were formed and supported by different countries, who were propagating their agenda in the country.

He said this change in policy was in interest of the country not US and even PM was ready to do anything in interest of the country. “The prime minister has a clear stance that he will not fight anybody’s war even when he was not in power,” he said, adding, that Imran Khan could not be used for fulfilling anyone’s agenda.

To a query on Aafia Siddiqui’s release, he said Imran Khan was an upright leader and would probably raise her issue with US authorities.

Responding over if the PTI was still ready to give container to opposition for protest as promised by Premier Imran Khan, the interior minister said that protest was right of any citizen but the state was also responsible to safeguard lives and property of masses.

“We are ready to give container for peaceful demo but if any unrest is created, the government will respond to it as it is responsible to safeguard masses.”

He added that the PTI held 126 days-long sit-in without damaging anything. “The cases of attack on PTV and Parliament were faced by Imran Khan when he was the prime minister. He was acquitted.”

To a query that Bilawal blamed him over murder of his mother and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, Ijaz Shah said Bilawal’s father ruled country for five years and he could hang him over any wrongdoing.

Rgarding further course of action in Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the interior minister said that law would take its course. “He can move Pakistan court as he has right to appeal,” he said, adding that even if he wanted, the accused could not be hanged.

The interior minister also termed smuggling the second biggest menace of the country after corruption and said that effective action had been planned to counter it.

Finance minister and commerce minister have gone to the prime minister saying that the country could not witness industrialisation unless smuggling is curbed, he said.

Shah said a high powered anti-smuggling body under interior ministry had been formed to revamp strategy for effectively countering the menace.

He asked media help in identifying those involved in selling smuggled products so that the country be steered out of the current economic mess.

Regarding legislation on police act by Sindh Assembly, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said he had returned the bill twice with his reservation that IG should be empowered with functions of police and be made accountable to the Sindh government.  “The government should not have the transfer powers of police officials even at the level of station house officers,” he said.