MULTAN - Former prime minister and PPP vice chairman Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani categorically declared on Friday that he would not appear before National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) case as the Constitution of Pakistan granted him immunity.

“If today I appear before NAB, tomorrow Nawaz Sharif will have to appear too,” he warned while addressing a news conference here at his residence. The NAB authorities are learnt to have sent a second notice to the former premier through police, asking him to appear before the Bureau in connection with the NICL case. Sources said the NAB directed the Multan CPO to get the notice received by the former prime minister, and in case he refused to receive, display it outside his home.

“I am here and if anyone wants to arrest me should come here,” Gillani added. He said it was not the first notice he had received as he had been receiving such notices throughout his life. He said he had been granted immunity by the Constitution and now it was to be decided by the Parliament whether it wanted to uphold the Constitution or not.

He claimed he safeguarded the Constitution by refusing to write the letter to Swiss authorities against former president Asif Ali Zardari, adding he wanted to see the Constitution protected today too.

Referring to the NICL case, he said he was not responsible for the corruption of any officer. “If I appointed an officer and he committed corruption, how can I be held responsible for his misdeeds?” he questioned. He lamented he and his two sons were facing courts today.

The ex-PM claimed he was sent to jail before every election. “And now the local government elections are around the corner,” he maintained.

Answering a question, he said he was ready to offer his arrest in any city. He told journalists that his friends and legal experts had asked him not to appear before the NAB. He said NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry was also a wanted man. “How can a wanted man summon me?” he raised another question.

Gilani said he would accept the judiciary was independent if former president Musharraf was jailed for one month. He lamented he was ousted from the prime minister’s office despite the fact that he was elected democratically whereas hundreds of other people who benefited from NRO were let go scot-free.