The debate around the mishandling of suspects by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is not dying down after the pictures of the dead body of the Sargodha varsity official went viral on social media. Many are rightly concerned over the procedure of inquiry which suspects undergo and whether or not it is respectful of the human right guarantees that our legislature offers. According to reports, the Head Constable Muhammad Azam, Constable Imran, and Khalil have been suspended for their negligence in the case. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Malik Mubashir has asserted that the official was not handcuffed when he came to the hospital. However, the Head Constable Muhammad Azam says that he was only following orders that the handcuffs cannot be removed unless the magistrate orders to.

This confusion is creating an air of mistrust in the workings of NAB. Instead of indulging in a blame game, they should as a workforce take responsibility for the actions. If the Head Constable was only following orders, people should be informed about it and they should look towards amendments in their portfolio in order to improve the way in which suspects are handled. The influence of the parliament in this regard will help a great deal. The discussion regarding physical remand under NAB custody is being debated these days. If the parliament collectively reaches a decision about this soon, several other suspects will be at ease. Reforms in investigative methods are also a need of the hour. With such penetration of social media, it is difficult to hide narratives highlighting torture and violence.

The incident has also prompted a response from the chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chowhan, who has taken a suo moto notice against the case. They are pushing NAB high-ups to allow a commision of NCHR to inspect places of detention of NAB. The sooner this commission acts, the easier it will be for the NCHR to highlight negligence on part of NAB and how they can improve the situation and whether or not there is a need to amend the legislation in this regard. Opposition Leader, Shahbaz Sharif, alleged that he was kept in a room where it was difficult to tell the time of the day. A similar statement regarding CCTV cameras in NAB washrooms was also made by Punjab University Prof Mujahid Kamran. The government needs to be mindful of these developments and order an inspection accordingly.