LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif blamed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday for driving Pakistan to destruction, claiming that the NAB’s “double standards” hurt the country.
“The NAB’s contradictory standards have harmed Pakistan. “The rule of might is right’ must be buried forever by the country’s 220 million people,” the premier remarked during a ceremony marking the laying of the foundation stone for Bab-e-Pakistan and the development and infrastructural upgrade of Walton Road in Lahore.
He regretted that the project, which was planned to be a destination for national and international visitors, had met a hitch in 2008 when its contract was given during the late General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s administration.
“Around Rs1.10 billion of the country’s wealth was buried in its rubble. The contractor was a swindler with little experience who wanted to import stone from Italy for Rs900 million “He went on to say.
The prime minister felt it would be a disgrace for a poor country like Pakistan, where basic necessities like health and education are scarce, to utilize expensive foreign tiles to build the historic monument.
“I was told that Rs900 million worth of white granite was to be imported from Italy for this monument, and when I asked why, the person in charge responded that the creation of Pakistan is inconceivable without this granite,” he claimed.
The PM stated that he declined to continue with the project with the aforementioned “consultant,” noting that the contractor was a “fraud” who lacked experience but was handed the job without bidding.
PM Shehbaz Sharif went on to claim that such callousness cost the government billions of dollars.
He also questioned the work of the anti-graft agency, saying it “targeted the innocent” but did not summon those engaged in such cases.
“I wish no one, not even my adversary, went to NAB’s akhuwat khana. People who were not guilty were shoved up against the wall. [But] did NAB investigate the components who engaged in corruption in this project, where billions were misappropriated?”
Speaking about the project’s location, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated that they had gathered once again at the historic site for which millions of migrating Muslims from the subcontinent had made historic sacrifices and strived for the creation of a separate homeland under the great leadership of Quaid-e-Azam.
“They came to the worst type of destruction on their approach to the newly constituted country, with thousands of children and women surviving the onslaught,” he added.
Referring to Walton Road, the prime minister stated that it was the location where hundreds of Indian migrants sought safety, and the people aided them, thus renewing the precedent of Ansar-e-Madina.