President Arif Alvi has said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should take notice of corruption allegations against former chief military spokesperson and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa as no one is above the law.

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The president made these comments in response to a question by Aaj TV host Munizae Jahangir over rampant corruption in Pakistan. The president said that Pakistan has suffered due to corruption over the past 70 years, adding that his government’s focus should be on curbing corruption. “I am very serious about it; it is very painful for me,” the president said.

At this, the host asked about allegations against Gen Bajwa, saying the opposition has accused the government of refusing to take action against the ex-general despite graft allegations. The president responded that if the general is accused of corruption then there should be a probe against him.

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“Who will launch this investigation?” asked Jahangir. “NAB [National Accountability Bureau] should,” Alvi responded.

“No one is above the law, even Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Alvi said, adding that as the president of Pakistan he will never endorse corruption.

The president also talked about defence budget, saying this has strengthened Pakistan over the years. “The budget has decreased compared to inflation,” the president claimed.

“In principle, you agree that parliament should debate the defence budget and that everyone accused of corruption, whether it is a bureaucrat, a politician or a general, must be held accountable,” the host asked. “I fully agree [with you],” said the president, adding that parliament is the supreme authority to discuss such matters.