The bail of former Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal in corruption cases has once again shed light on the performance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Successive political leaders have been involved in cases resulting in arrests without the organisation being able to prove their crimes. This particular arrest was made at the first stage of inquiry and the board has not been able to move ahead with the investigation despite their cooperation. This not only keeps them from performing their duties as political representatives but also makes the position of the government strong - with their claim of corruption in totality against the opposition parties.

However, political representatives are starting to push back as well and in most cases, the courts have been able to free them due to lack of evidence against their crimes. In many cases, NAB went forward with the arrest due to fear of them fleeing the country but the government still reserved the right to place them in the Exit Control List (ECL). This shows deep mismanagement in the government and its institutions - a criticism we hear from day one against the government.

With leaders of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) freed from courts, they are planning on engaging in politics that criticises the government’s economic policies. This is certainly a political issue that will be backed by other opposition parties - a middle ground that these parties have been unable to find in the last year and a half. With the opposition becoming more and more aggressive in their criticism of the government, the government needs to look into the functioning of NAB because their inability to perform their duties correctly is helping aide the narrative against the ruling party. The government now has to make amends on several fronts along with facing economic challenges and a threat of the coronavirus.