Sindh home minister refutes accusations of political victimisation

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Caretaker Sindh Home Minister Brigadier (retd) Haris Nawaz on Sunday refuted the accusations of political victimisation within the province, stating firmly that no actions are currently being pursued against any political leaders.

The minister’s statement comes amid reports regarding some politicians, notably those from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), being placed on a stop list as well as their residences being raided.

Last month, sources told The News that the name of Mukesh Chawla, a PPP politician and former provincial minister, was included in the list as well, following an inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) into allegations of misusing authority and involvement in a vehicle registration scam marked by corruption.

However, the anti-corruption authority was restrained from arresting him after he approached the Sindh High Court against his possible arrest. Chawla’s plea stated that his residence was raided, although there had been no call-up notice issued to him in connection with any NAB inquiry.

The sources added that the names of more than 60 government officials close to the PPP have also been included in the stop list.

Additionally, the inquiries were expected to be opened in the anti-graft body’s office in Karachi against government officers close to PPP, the sources added.

Chawla’s name, as per the sources, was added to the list on NAB’s recommendation and all the names were included in different phases from the first week of August — an act termed as political victimisation in the province.

Commenting on the aforementioned reports about Sindh politicians today, Brigadier (retd) Nawaz said only NAB investigations and criminal cases are underway.

“Political victimisation is not being done against anyone in Sindh,” the interim minister told the journalists.

The caretaker home minister also refuted reports of politicians being placed on the stop list.

Following alleged reports of cash being recovered from residences of politicos in the province, the minister clarified that no money has been recovered from anyone’s house and no politicians’ residences have been raided in Sindh.

Earlier this month, fake news regarding a raid on the residence of PPP’s former federal minister Shazia Marri’s house began doing the rounds on social media, with claims of “confiscating Rs97 billion” in cash.

Marri rebutted the fake news and stated that no such raid by any official authority had been conducted. The fake news garnered immense traction after a Lahore-based journalist posted it on his social media account, after which Marri slapped him with a defamation notice under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 and Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), 2016.

However, the interim home minister suggested that the allegations might be part of a deliberate campaign to malign the caretaker government’s reputation.

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