KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said yesterday that NAB officials not only arrested Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani ‘unlawfully’ but they also violated sanctity of ‘Chadar and Chardiwari’.

Addressing a press conference along with PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro and Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab here at the Committee Room of Sindh Assembly, the CM alleged that NAB officials had misbehaved with the women at Durrani’s home and held them hostage for more than seven hours. 

“This is unprecedented and uncalled for a civilized society,” he said and demanded of the NAB chairman to take action against the officials involved. Murad questioned if the NAB had solid evidence and documentary proofs that it decided to arrest a person, who was holding a constitutional position in the Sindh Assembly, then why they raided his house in search of collecting evidence.

He was of the view that Durrani was the most respected senior parliamentarian. “His father and uncle have also served as the assembly speakers,” he maintained. He said the way the speaker was arrested from a hotel in the federal capital was disgraceful and unconstitutional, adding that Durrani would face allegations levelled against him in the court of law. “In the past, he (Durrani) faced a number of cases and was acquitted. In similar cases, Babul Bhayo, Sharjeel Memon and others are languishing in jails,” the CM added.

He expressed his displeasure on the raid conducted by NAB authorities on the house of Durrani where, according to the party, his wife, three daughters and a maid were present. Murad said he spoke to speaker’s wife and she told him that the raiding party in which two women were included forced them to stand into the lounge of the house. “The daughter of Agha Durrani when asked a NAB official to stop smoking cigarette, he exhaled smoke of the cigarette into her face. This was the way how the women were treated inside the house of a person who is speaker of the Sindh Assembly,” said the CM.

Quoting wife of Durrani, Murad further said that one of the women in NAB team dropped her blood pressure and laid in an unstable condition. “The wife of Durrani gave her juice to stabilise her blood pressure. This is the grace and humanity the Durrani’s family demonstrated against those who raided their house and made them hostage. On the other hand, there was a harsh, inhuman and unethical attitude of the raiding party. This is the difference between the two,” the CM lamented.

The chief minister said that the deputy speaker had summoned the assembly session and hoped that NAB authorities will produce the speaker for the session. To a question, he said, “Registration of an FIR against NAB officials for raiding their house was a prerogative of their family, adding that if they tried to get a case registered, the provincial government would support them.

To another question pertaining to Durrani’s resignation, Murad said there was no need of this move, saying that even if he resigned he will remain an assembly member. “It will be Durrani’s personal decision to continue as speaker or not,” he added.

The CM reminded that an opponent of Durrani was in jail during speaker’s election but the PPP had not raised any objection.

He was of the view that arrest of the speaker had violated the sanctity of the assembly as he was its custodian. “We will try to seek support of opposition for raising voice against arrest of the speaker,” said Murad.

To another query, the chief minister said that he had the powers to transfer additional IG Karachi police, but at the moment there was no need to take such decision since he was doing better. He added that there was minor procedure to transfer an IG police but he would take such decision when needed.

Murad said when speaker becomes acting governor no criminal proceedings could be initiated against him. He added that he and his assembly members were of the view that anti-corruption was provincial subject but the courts did not accept their view. “This was why we had withdrawn the draft of accountability bill from the assembly,” he said.

Murad regretted that he could not save the house of Durani from being ‘transgressed’ by NAB officials despite being a chief executive of the province. He urged the parliament to review the NAB law and remove all ‘draconian’ clauses from it.

Referring to the murder case of Irashad Ranjahni, Murad said he had taken strict action against policemen who had treated him inhumanly and took him to police station instead of shifting him to the hospital.