Saleem Mandviwala v/s NAB, blame-game deepens further

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ISLAMABAD: A serious tussle between Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala and accountability institution NAB is deepen further on Monday when new charges have come out and became talk of the town. He said although politicians and businessmen were regularly subjected to media trials, it was now the turn of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officers to be tried in the media.

Speaking during a Senate session, he repeated the allegation that people were losing their lives due to alleged excesses of the accountability watchdog.After NAB froze more than three million shares of different companies registered in Mandviwala’s name with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in connection with the fake accounts case last month, the Senate deputy chairman has vowed to expose the bureau internationally.

Saleem Mandiviwala

Mandviwala said he had met the wife and daughter of retired brigadier Asad Munir, who committed suicide in 2019, who described the difficulties faced by the deceased before his death.

The body of Munir, who was facing multiple inquiries by NAB, was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the study of his apartment located in the highly guarded Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad in March 2019. He worked both with the military and the government.

Mandviwalla said he found out that Munir had survived the first suicide attempt and later hung himself. He said Munir’s family had told him “what happened with his life since the NAB investigation started”.

The Senate deputy chairman stressed that the government as well as NAB should take notice of the issue in order to stop “mud-slinging” against people.

“Politicians are smeared every day; it has no effect on us and we will face it, but people cannot tolerate. People are committing suicides, leaving the country and they are worried news about them being issued a NAB notice will be run any moment,” he said, adding that such developments were on the rise.

While talking about the fake accounts case, Mandviwalla questioned how an account could be fake if was opened in a bank, saying “there can be fraud or identity theft, but there can’t be a fake account.”

ISLAMABAD: Saleem Mandviwala, Deputy Chairman, Senate, speaking at the House on Monday. (Nation TV photo)

He termed the case a “big drama”, saying no allegations regarding fake accounts had been proven in the last 3-4 years.

Mandviwalla claimed that the NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal was being “blackmailed” through a woman named Tayyaba whose video had leaked in the past. He asked Iqbal to “come in the Senate and tell us who is blackmailing you”.

“You cannot stay NAB chairman for your entire life, who will stand with you when you retire? No one, and then you will be blackmailed a lot more,” he added, claiming that he had personally “seen messages and heard recordings”.

Earlier, on Saturday, he announced that he would approach the European Union and other international human rights organisations against the violation of human rights by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He also vowed to move a bill to stop the Bureau from character assassination of people and arresting them at the inquiry stage.

He said this after meeting with the family of retired brigadier Asad Munir who committed suicide following excesses by the anti-graft watchdog. Mr Munir worked with both the military as well as the government and was facing multiple inquiries by NAB.

In March 2019, the body of deceased was found hanging with the ceiling fan in the study of his apartment located in highly-guarded Diplomatic Enclave where he lived with his wife, a driver and a cook.

Mr Mandviwala said that he had a meeting with the widow of Mr Munir and his daughter in Sector F-8.

“I was astonished to know, from the widow, that Mr Munir earlier tried to commit suicide with his pistol, but fortunately the bullet got stuck and later his wife snatched the pistol from him. However, after a few days he hanged himself due to humiliation by NAB,” he said.

While talking to Dawn, Senator Mandviwala said that Mr Munir used to tell his wife how NAB humiliated him.

“I have learnt that more people have committed suicides, because of NAB, as compared to those who died in NAB’s custody. That is why I have decided to seek details from the Inspector Generals of Prisons about how many people are in jail due to NAB. As details will be sought from the platform of Senate, they will be received soon. I have observed that, apart from NAB, all departments cooperate with the parliament,” he said.

“As NAB has been violating human rights so I have decided to approach the European Union and international human rights organisations against it,” he said.

Senator Mandviwala said that soon he would move a bill in which it would be suggested that NAB should not interfere in private businesses, should not be allowed to arrest people at inquiry stage and should not share details with the media.

It is worth mentioning that NAB has been investigating a case against Mr Mandviwala.

NAB allegationsThe National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has clarified that Saleem Mandviwala, Ijaz Haroon received Rs 144 million from fake accounts. Instead of cooperating during the investigation, Saleem Mandviwala resorted to hiding behind the business community.

The NAB said that some media reports were trying to blame the NAB by giving a one-sided impression of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as an institution and performance.

The context used in these media reports is based on deliberate speculation, which has nothing to do with reality. Its sole purpose is to discredit the NAB.

According to the NAB statement, we have no affiliation with any political party, individual or group. The performance of NAB is exemplary. He will not bow down and will continue to arrest the corrupt elements in the society as his national service.

M Ejaz Haroon illegally allotted 12 plots of Overseas Society in the name of various contractors in the past and managed their ownership through open transfer letter.

Later, Saleem Mandviwala and Ijaz Haroon, knowingly and voluntarily, entered into a property deal with Abdul Ghani Majeed of Omni Group and received Rs 144 million from fake bank accounts in the name of A1 International and Lucky International.

M Ejaz Haroon and Saleem Mandiwala’s share in the crime is Rs 80 million and Rs 64.5 million respectively. Out of the dubious deal, Saleem Mandviwala maintained the deal, which is more unusual than impossible in any kind of property deal.

Saleem Mandviwala used his brother’s company Mandviwala Builders and Developers and his bank account in the transaction to conceal the transaction as a business transaction. They are the beneficiaries of the deal.