BY: |Hamid Mir|

A Sikh journalist friend made such a request which was very difficult to entertain. He said: You have won our hearts by writing Allama Iqbal’s verse dedicated to Baba Guru Nanak. We are organizing a seminar in Amritsar, we want you to address it.

 

I thanked my Sikh brethren for the offer and inquired if the seminar was going to be tribute to Baba Guru Nanak? He said No, the seminar will be about Mahraja Ranjeet Singh. I fell quiet for a moment because my respect for Guru Nanak did not mean that I respected Ranjeet Singh as well.

I told my Sikh friend that I am not that familiar with the teachings of Ranjeet Singh, hence please accept my apology. The Sikh friend was not willing to listen, he said: We will write the speech for you, you have to attend the seminar at all cost.

I faced a quagmire. I gathered some strength and told my Sikh friend that I had heard that when Ranjeet Singh took over Lahore, he made a horse stable in the Badshahi Mosque and right in front of the Shahi Qilah Hazoori Bagh he built a 12 door gateway where he used to set up court. Huzoori Bagh 12 door’s formation was based with marble and other precious gemstones, he uprooted the gemstones and stones from the mausoleums of Jehangir and Noor Jehan.

 

He ripped out the stones and decorated his court. It may be that he provided justice to a lot of people but ripping the stones of mausoleums was a preposterous act. Who will be answerable for that?

The Sikh friend started hailing Mahraja Ranjeet Singh and singing his praised after hearing all this, he started saying that how great Ranjeet was, he took stones from the tombs and laid foundations of justice for the living. Now you must attend our seminar, I started imagining tomatoes and eggs being hurled towards me and I deliberately cut the conversation off and said goodbye to my naive Sikh friend.

 

When I opened the newspaper today morning, I was reminded of Ranjeet Singh again.

According to the news, NAB court Lahore has said that NAB totally failed to prove that former Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif has received kickbacks and Court has rejected to grant Physical remand of Shehbaz Sharif.

While reading the news I understand that why Prime Minister Imran Khan is not happy with the performance of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

As per sources, Fawad Hassan Fawad was the main character of cases made against Shehbaz Sharif. It was also claimed regarding Fawad Hassan Fawad that he has become approver against Former CM Punjab, but nothing happened like this so far and some members of the ruling part are doubtful that Is NAB made weak case against Shehbaz Sharif just to show him oppressed? The one most responsible person was of the view that Fawad Hasan Fawad had old conflict with one senior member of NAB, so just to take revenge of that conflict he imposed Ashiyana Scandal case against him but as the time being spent this case is becoming trouble for NAB.

Once upon a time former chairman of NAB, Lieutenant general Shahid Aziz asked me why you always criticised NAB? I replied him very gently that the politicians arrested by your government was made ministers later through NAB. If you were on my place what would you have done? You would have praised them? When Admiral (r) Faish Bukhari was made NAB chairman he called me to inform about the work of NAB. When I asked some inner questions regarding NAB he was speechless.

Our country strongly needs an institution like NAB but why this is necessary that some retired judge or Army officer should be made NAB chairman? NAB was actually made by Nawaz Sharif back in 1997 and appointed Saif-ur-Rehman as Chairman of NAB which belongs to PMLN.

During Senator Saif-ur-Rehman time this institution was called Accountability Bureau. Saif-ur-Rehman enjoyed as the Chairman of Accountability Bureau unprecedented power by digging out cases from the grave and built a huge palace over it. In November 1999, General (R) Pervez Musharraf tried to take out few stones from the palace and then renamed Accountability Court with a new name: NAB which gave tidings of a new tenure. Because in that new tenure, the NAB had defamed politicians and vice versa.

After Musharraf, Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and now Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has come to power. All the governments used NAB as a tool to politically victimize but when NAB handcuffed few professors, vice chancellors of Universities then it lost the respect in the eyes of people.

Now, this institution is being advised to lodge cases against anchors and journalists to reinstate their lost integrity. I welcome this advice as in 2012, I offered the Supreme Court to initiate cases against the Media persons and the accountability of media must begin.

But accountability does not mean whispers and stories rather concrete proofs. Surprisingly the NAB has the right to obtain 90 days remand of a politician, bureaucrat but it could not produce single evidence against Shehbaz Sharif.

NAB claims of retrieving billion worth of rupees and then adding it back to National Exchequer. Good. Also the Public Accounts Committee also added billion of rupees since from 2013 to 2018. Corruption is the core issue of our Country and to end corruption, the NAB must be made successful, but there has to be a proper system of check and balance in the institution.

To make NAB efficient, there has to be amendments in NABs laws. If the laws are not changed and Nab is not made accountable, then this institution will create misunderstandings between the State institutions and will remain controversial. Ranjit Singh took out the stones from Jahangir; Noor Jahans grave and then built his own court. Musharraf built the NAB from taking stones of Nawaz Accountability Court, therefore to relive from the stones of graves, it is imperative to legislate to build a new Accountability institution.

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