May 15, 2018 — The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice has summoned Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday May 16, over media reports that claimed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif remitted $4.9 billion to India.
The committee has directed Chairman NAB to appear in person and brief the lawmakers.
The chairman NAB has also been directed to bring along with him concerned officers who were investigating the report.
The accountability bureau last week said it was verifying the media reports that claim Nawaz Sharif laundered $4.9 billion to India that increased New Delhi’s foreign reserves.
According to a statement, NAB Chief Justice (reted) Javed Iqbal took notice of reports that former minister Nawaz Sharif transferred $4.9 billion illegally to bank accounts of Indian government.
The statement added that the figure was stated in World Bank’s ‘Migration And Remittances Factbook 2016’ report and NAB has the right to look into the claim under the law.
On May 8, taking notice of a misleading newspaper article based on the said report of the World Bank, the anti-corruption watchdog started verification whether Sharif was involved in sending $4.9 billion to India.
According to NAB, World Bank’s migration and remittance book released in September 2016 carried information that foreign exchange reserves of India increased by $4.9 billion after receiving the huge amount sent from Pakistan inflicting losses to Pakistan’s national kitty.
While the World Bank promptly responded to the NAB move and stated that “the report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals”, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the estimates showed in the WB report were based on “assumptions” which did not reflect the reality.
Soon after the SBP’s clarification, NAB issued a brief statement and questioned: “If the World Bank report is not correct, why they have not changed the figure of 4.9 billion dollars from Pakistan in its report?”
The WB’s assessment was called “flawed” because those who migrated from India and became Pakistan citizens after 1947 did not send back remittances.
The fresh clarification of the WB said its report was an effort to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world.
A WB spokesman said: “We would also like to refer to a statement by the State Bank of Pakistan which rejects estimates of $4.9 billion in remittances from Pakistan to India on Sept 21, 2016.”
The WB provided an explanation of the methodology used in the report and the official remittances numbers.
The graft-buster bureau is however authorized to investigate any inappropriate remittances as per the law.
It has dispelled the impression NAB wanted to hurt anybody or take revenge. “The bureau does not believes in taking revenge, but it is determined to eliminate corruption from the country without discrimination.”