1200 Corruption Cases: Chairman NAB Directs Officials to Pursue All References in Accountability Courts

The anti-graft body has established 55 thousands Character Building Societies of students throughout the country

JUN 12, 2018 — Pursuing policy of zero tolerance for corruption and misuse of authority, Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal has directed officials to diligently pursue the 1200 corruption references currently under trial in respective Accountability Courts across the country.

The 72-year-old former judge of Supreme Court has also directed NAB Lahore to complete 155 inquiries, 49 investigations, Karachi to complete 160 inquiries, 123 investigations, NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to complete 79 inquiries, 25 investigations, NAB Balochistan to complete 80 inquiries, 24 investigations, Rawalpindi to complete 102 inquiries, 43 investigations, NAB Multan to complete 20 inquiries, 10 investigations, and NAB Sukkur to complete 96 inquiries and 18 investigations on the basis of solid evidence within prescribed time frame as per the law.

The former judge of country’s apex court became Chairman NAB in October 2017 for a 4-year-term after government and opposition parties agreed on his appointment.  Justice (retd) Iqbal said then there will be zero tolerance against corruption, misuse of authority and “across-the-board accountability” as per law with transparency and swiftness.

Within the first 100 days in office, his style and actions irked many. The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution demanding the federal government amend the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 to prohibit the use of “illegal powers” and eliminate the plea bargain clause from the ordinance.

That did not deter the corruption watchdog head from pursuing his task. In April this year, he remarked that “even though the country owes international financial institutions around $84 billion, no one knows where all this money was spent.”

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Earlier this month, the anti-graft agency opened an inquiry against former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over alleged misuse of authority relating to LNG supply deal with Qatar.

In an executive board meeting chaired by Justice (retd) Iqbal on June 6, the accountability body was given a go-ahead to open an inquiry against Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who served as minister for petroleum during Nawaz’s tenure before assuming charge of PM office, and others “for granting a 15-year contract of LNG terminal to a company of their liking in violation of rules and by misuse of their powers, which caused national exchequer a loss of billions of rupees”.

The top corruption watchdog also approved in that meeting a probe against former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, former secretary, officers of the Sindh Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department and others over allegations of misuse of authority.

An investigation was also approved against former Punjab chief minister, concerned secretaries, a former MPA from Chiniot and the management of Ramzan Sugar Mills Chiniot over alleged misuse of authority.

The accountability bureau also announced to launch probe against former chairman of Karachi Port Trust, Vice Admiral (retd) Ahmad Hayat, former Balochistan ministers Sheikh Jaffar Khan and Obaidullah Jan Babat and other officials over similar allegations.

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While chairing a meeting to review performance of the corruption watchdog at its headquarters in capital Islamabad this week, the NAB chairman said today NAB’s conviction ratio is about 77 percent which is one of the highest conviction ratios as compared to other investigation agencies conducting White Collar Crime investigations.

He said the anti-graft agency he’s heading is committed to root out corruption in all its forms and manifestation by using all its resources with absolute professionalism, transparency, merit and as per law across the board.

Chairman NAB said NAB’s Anti-corruption strategy have been yielding excellent results. He said the main focus of NAB is on cases of cheating public at large by fraudulent financial companies, housing and cooperative companies, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults, misuse of authority and embezzlement of state funds by government servants and corruption by private persons, etc.

NAB has established 55 thousands Character Building Societies of students throughout the country, according to the Daily Times, aimed at creating awareness among the youth that corruption is mother of all evils which is one of the major hurdles in the way of progress and prosperity of the country.

Meanwhile, Lahore NAB issued an advertisement inviting public to submit their complaints against Hamza Garden Kanwal Block Housing Scheme Old Kahna. The ad stated that NAB had started investigations against the housing scheme as they had been accused of looting money from the public through fraud and coercion.

Last month, the NAB chairman said he indents to convene a meeting of Capital Development Authority (CDA), Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration, Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), Quetta Development Authority (QDA) and Karachi Development Authority (KDA) officers to chalk out a joint strategy to obstruct fake housing societies from looting people.

He added that the upcoming elections will not hinder NAB’s work as NAB continues to work within the boundaries of the law.

The anti-graft body and Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) are also probing embezzlement of Rs500 million in 114 cases against Pakistan Postal Services offices across the country.

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