LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hassan said the inordinate delay in the appointment of the NAB chairman indicated that the government is not interested to take action against corruption.

In a statement here Thursday, he said the PML-N and PPP had been in collusion since long and were protecting each other’s corruption. He said that former president Asif Ali Zardari’s silent visit abroad also revealed that there had been a deal between the government and opposition. He said the corruption cases were not opened against Zardari during last five years on the plea of immunity, but, he said, as the immunity has ended, the present rulers have shown least interest in brining the former president to the book and recovering the plundered billions of rupees from him.

The JI chief said it is strange that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who had been so forcefully talking of ‘Ali Baba and Forty Thieves’ and promising recovery of all ill-gotten wealth of Zardari, has not talked of the issue after coming into power again.

Munawwar criticised the PML-N government’s last 3-month performance and said the party that came to power on the promises of providing relief to the masses, has raised POL and electricity prices to a level on the contrary, multiplying the worries of the majority.

He said had the PML-N government taken a bold step and recovered the plundered billions from corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, etc., it could have dispensed itself from the IMF loans and also collected sufficient money to provide relief to the masses without raising the POL and electricity prices.

The JI chief said apart from the economic problems, there was alarming increase in crime as cases of extortion and abduction for ransom were reported even in Punjab which was a matter of deep concern.

On the other hand, the JI is holding a 3-day countrywide protest from Friday (today) against the oppressive raise in POL prices and electricity tariff.

The protest rallies would be held after Friday prayers at district, tehsil and provincial level. The JI also planned to stage sit-ins at all major roads and crossings in different cities and towns, raising voice against the crushing hike of POL and power prices.

In Lahore, a protest rally would be held at Multan Road, after Friday prayers. JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch, and JI Lahore chief Mian Maqsood Ahmed would lead and address the gathering.