National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a major and earthshaking move on Wednesday arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s leader Aleem Khan in a case of assets beyond means and once again proved that it believes in the accountability across the board.
The senior minister in the Punjab Government Aleem Khan was arrested by the accountability watchdog and later issued statement under the head of ‘grounds for arrest’ to the media which claims to have sufficient evidences against Khan to proceed the case further.
The opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and others have been levelling accession against the ruling party, PTI that it was employing pick and choose tactic when it comes to doing accountability in the country.
However, the accountability watchdog by arresting Aleem Khan apparently calm down its critics who have been levelling allegations against it for not conducting accountability across the board or it had a discriminatory approach.
Later Aleem Khan resigned as senior provincial minister after his arrest. “NAB has taken me into custody, therefore, I am resigning on moral grounds,” reported a private TV channel.
Earlier, Babar Awan who was Advisor to Prime Minister, Imran Khan on Parliamentary Affairs had also resigned from his post following filing of corruption case against him by the NAB.
This gesture of the accountability watchdog is expected to bring some changes in the opposition’s stance over ‘pick and choose’ perspective about it.
Later on, after the arrest of Aleem Khan the accountability watchdog issued a statement to media which contained that it has sufficient evidences to prove involvement of Abdul Aleem Khan in commission of offences as defined under section 9(a) and Schedule of National Accountability Ordinance 1999.
According to it Aleem Khan being Secretary ‘Parkview Cooperative Housing Society,’ member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab and Minister of for Information Technology held the public office as defined in Section 5(m)(iii) and (iv) of NAO, 1999 and during this period the accused was involved in the act of corruption and corrupt practices as defined under section 9(a) of the ordinance. According to the NAB the accused accumulated assets beyond known sources of income within Pakistan and outside of it.
“The accused established multiple companies with the purpose of real estate business and invested millions of rupees. The accused brought more than 900 kanal land in different Mauzas of Lahore in the name of his company M/s A&A Pvt Limited and also pay advances for additional 600 kanal land for which he could not account for the sources of the said investments,” NAB further stated.
According to the NAB, Aleem Khan in 2005 and 2006, apart from inland assets also established offshore companies in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United Kingdom (UK).
“Said offshore companies acquired assets of extensive value which are beyond known sources of income of the accused. This is likely that the accused my temper with the prosecution evidence through coercion, criminal inducement and criminal intimidation,” if stated and further added that the arrest of accused is necessary to unearth other assets which he might hold in his ownership or in the ownership off his Benamidar (unnamed) and for the collection of evidence and concluding the inquiry/investigation in accordance with law.
The good thing about the PTI’s ministers is they have been resigning from their posts if a corruption reference was filed against them or they were arrested under the charges of corruption. At least Babar Awan and Aleem Khan did so on the moral grounds. This is rare thing in the political arena of Pakistan where generally persons who are on some high positions prefer to stick to their posts irrespective of the fact what sort of corruption or other charges have been levelled against them.