Almost nabbed

ALMOST NABBED

Pakistan's big story this week was that the job of the prime minister was on the line — until clarifications came. Daily Times reported on January 16: "A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of

Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to arrest all the

16 people, including the incumbent PM, involved in the rental power plants (RPP) scandal and submit a report..." In the next hearing, the SC rejected the NAB's report.

The twist came when the NAB later admitted that it

wasn't satisfied with its own report and termed it a hasty job. The Express Tribune reported on January 18: "...in his reply before the SC... NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari termed the two reports examined by the bench 'inaccurate' and claimed they lacked the facts needed to proceed against the accused. Adopting an aggressive posture, he also questioned the SC's intervention in the case. The NAB chairman lectured the

bench regarding the apex court's limited powers and jurisdiction in the matter, saying, 'The SC is a constitutional court. It cannot, as such, monitor and examine

an ongoing investigation, which falls under the

jurisdiction of a trial court'."

GETTING PERSONAL

A report in The Express Tribune quotes Chaudhry: "'There might be some who consider themselves above the law, but let me tell you no one is above the law. Why is your machinery not moving against the persons concerned, what is the hurdle here?' he asked NAB officials. 'I have an independent prosecution team and I do not like to intervene in their tasks,' maintained the NAB chairman. 'I am cooperating fully. let me assure you there is no influence being exerted on the investigation team,' he added." Another report in Dawn depicted the storm in the courtroom: "The back and forth continued throughout the day without much legal progress but towards the end a dramatic scene ensued when an NAB official stood up and asked the chief justice that he... should quit, instead of asking the bureau's officers to resign... Earlier, the NAB chairman asked the court to call him Admiral Bokhari and not Mr Bokhari. 'Kindly show me the respect as I am giving you the same,' he said... 'Sorry, Admiral Bokhari,' retorted the CJ, seemingly in a sarcastic tone."

... contd.

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