NAB chief promises support to Broadsheet probe body

Dawn

PESHAWAR: National Accountability Bureau chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal on Tuesday promised the anti-corruption watchdog’s complete cooperation to the single-member Broadsheet Inquiry Commission regarding the UK-based asset recovery company’s revelations about corruption and money laundering in Pakistan and said the current NAB administration had nothing do with the Broadsheet issue.
During a visit to the NAB regional headquarters here, Mr Iqbal said the NAB agreement with the Broadsheet company was signed in 2000 and came to an end in 2003.
“The inquiry commission has become functional and the NAB will extend all-out support to it,” he said. The NAB chairman said 1,230 corruption references had been pending with accountability courts across the country about the misappropriation of around Rs943 billion.
“The NAB intends to file applications with accountability courts for early hearing into these references,” he said.
Says accountability courts to be requested for early hearing into graft references
Mr Iqbal said the NAB was a human-friendly institution that always extended respect to those functioning in accordance with the Constitution and law and therefore, bureaucracy should not be apprehensive towards it.
“The NAB has no relation with any political party, group or individual and that it respects all politicians in line with the requirements of the law,” he said.
The NAB chairman said an accused was produced before the court within 24 hours of arrest and that the court had powers to remand him or her in the custody of the bureau.
He said the NAB was the only institution, which had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government for overlooking projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative.
Mr Iqbal said international organisations of repute, including Transparency International, World Economic Forum and Global Peace Canada, had hailed the NAB’s performance.
He said the bureau was a role model for Saarc countries and was a focal institution in the country under the UN Convention against Corruption.
“We have decided to start refresher courses for our officials on scientific basis keeping in view the modern day requirements. We have also been taking steps for improving monitoring and evaluation mechanism, preparation of references on the basis of concrete evidence, and effective prosecution in the courts so that corrupt elements should not receive any relief,” he said.
The NAB chairman said propaganda was launched against his organisation by the elements, which didn’t want to be answerable for their actions.
He said the bureau not only made those elements answerable but also filed cases and references against them and made huge recoveries.
Mr Iqbal said the NAB didn’t yield to negative propaganda, allegations and threats and made the people, who had not ever dreamt to be questioned, answerable for their deeds. He said the NAB had recovered around Rs487 billion during his three years long tenure as the chairman.
Earlier, NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director general retired Brigadier Farooq Nasir Awan informed the chairman that currently, 182 references were pending with accountability courts in Peshawar.
He said the bureau had been scrutinising 68 complaints and conducting inquiry into 95 complaints and full-fledge investigation into 36 complaints.
The DG said during the last three years, the NAB KP had recovered Rs3.018 billion, which was deposited in the exchequer.
He said in several cases, the money looted from the people over fake housing projects were recovered and returned to their owners.

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