ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians chief Asif Ali Zardari yesterday reminded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that not only the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was also harassing the political opponents.

Commenting on prime minister’s remarks about harassment of government employees by the NAB, Zardari – a former president – said that FIA was doing nothing different when it came to the PPPP or other Opposition parties.

“Mian Sahib not only NAB but your FIA is also doing the same job,” he said in a statement. He added, “Dr Asim (Hussain) is not involved in corruption, and one of your ministers has also conceded this” but was being “harassed for months”.

Zardari also accused the government of repeatedly violating the 18th Amendment of the Constitution. The statement came hours after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif warned NAB against ‘harassing’ government employees.

“The NAB must perform its duty responsibly. They barge into houses and offices of innocent people to harass them without looking into authenticity of cases,” he said.

Earlier, Zardari had alleged that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was repeating politics of victimisation, which was prevalent in the 1990s.

In a previous statement, the former president said at a time when the country’s innocent citizens were being killed by indiscriminate shelling in border villages by the enemy and the Army was fighting a decisive war against terrorists, Nawaz Sharif instead of challenging the real enemy was targeting the PPP and other political opponents. He warned politics of revenge should immediately be stopped otherwise it will produce disastrous consequences.

Expressing discontent over the arrest of PPP leaders such as Dr Asim Hussain, Qasim Zia and inquiries against former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, he said, “The pattern indicates political revenge following orders from the PM’s House.”

Himself, Zardari stands acquitted in all five high-profile corruption cases. Courts acquitted Zardari in the Societe Generale Surveillance, and Cotecna, the ARY Gold, Polo Ground and Ursus Tractor references. Zardari is presently aboard. He went to Dubai in June last year and has never returned since then as his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leads the party. Zardari had made a controversial speech warning Generals to stop victimising the PPP or he would expose their misdeeds.

His statement came after a salvo of allegations of corruption, land-grabbing, smuggling of Iranian oil and extortion at the PPP-led Sindh government by the paramilitary Rangers.