Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla on Sunday said that it is the first time in history that the "Senate of Pakistan" is facing a tough time because of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The NAB has recently frozen Mandviwalla's assets in connection with a fake accounts case. According to a report submitted by the anti-corruption watchdog on Tuesday, Mandviwalla had allegedly bought Benami shares in the name of a person accused in the fake accounts case. Later that day, the Senate chairman had categorically denied the allegations, calling the case "unfair and prejudicial."
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the senator said that NAB is involved in "blackmailing people," adding that the National Commission on Human Rights, as well as the Supreme Court, have criticised the bureau for violations.
"When institutions like NAB violate human rights in this country, why is it that no one raises their voice against them?" Saleem Mandviwalla questioned. "When I raise my voice against the bureau's wrongdoings, I am served a notice."
He said that several members of the national assembly (MNAs) and senators have landed in trouble because of the NAB and people are blackmailed and humiliated in closed rooms during investigations.
"I will now take up the issue on the Senate floor and discuss it," Saleem Mandviwala maintained. "The NAB has accused me of making an anonymous transaction but I will show to the world that I have not done any such thing."
Defending himself, Mandviwalla added that NAB's Director-General Irfan Mangi has been accusing him of not doing any business despite him being related to the business industry for the last four generations.
"We must ask Engineer Irfan Mangi the basis of his promotion within the NAB. Earlier, I used to write letters to the prime minister but now I will reveal every information I have to the media. All members of the NAB should disclose their assets too and I will raise this matter in the Senate."
NAB halts further proceedings against Mandviwalla
On the other hand, NAB Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal has taken notice of the allegations levelled by Saleem Mandviwalla and has ordered to stop further proceedings on the graft case against him until further orders.
"We have summoned the record of the case and will investigate it thoroughly," the chairman said.
"The NAB respects all parliamentarians in accordance with the law," he said, adding that the decision to continue or stop the proceedings of the case against Mandviwalla would be taken in light of the detailed scrutiny of the record.
"We will also give a chance to Saleem Mandviwalla to explain his position in accordance with NAB's rules."