National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has said the anti-graft watchdog has sent a clear message to both the new and old rulers that “you reap what you sow”.
“Bureaucracy is the backbone of the government and if it develops any fault, therapy becomes necessary,” said the NAB chairman while addressing a gathering at the Aiwan-e-Sadar on Sunday.
“An aggressive propaganda had been launched against NAB to spread discontent, but the ones who committed corruption will have to face accountability. If asking questions about your source of income is a crime, we shall continue doing this,” said Iqbal.
He clarified that everyone was interrogated without hurting their self-respect.
“When a question is asked, they should answer it. One should not get touchy unnecessarily,” he said. “Those who had a 70cc motorcycle now have towers in Dubai. It is not an insult if NAB asks where these towers came from.
“Those who have ruled the country for the last 30 years have perhaps forgotten that this is not a Mughal era. A common man has the right to question the rulers’ actions. And NAB has this right by law.” Iqbal said those who were involved in creating propaganda against NAB should understand that “people know who is behind it”.
“People are not so simple that they cannot distinguish between good and bad,” he said. “NAB will continue working with or without your propaganda.” Iqbal complained about NAB being dragged into politics and criticised for hours in parliament.
“All facilities are provided to those who are under trial, including the former premiers and chief minister,” he said. “The simple rooms of NAB have every facility, including study/reading, prayers, food and medical facilities.”
He said it was beyond his understanding as to why the business community was afraid of NAB.
“Replying to a question of a businessman at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I said that if death penalty was awarded for corruption, the population of the country would reduce which would not be good for the country,” said the NAB chief. “Now, everyone will have to face the law irrespective of whatever they were in the past.”
He advised the propagandists to spend energy on their cases rather than on propagandas against NAB. “This way you can defend better,” he added.
The NAB chief said, “The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said rulers will be answerable on the day of the judgement even if they commit corruption the size of a needle.”
“Rail engines, ships and airplanes are missing. Everyone is doing whatever they want. It is not unfair if NAB asks where the ships and airplanes are?” he said. Refuting reports of differences with the
incumbent government, he said he was not against the government nor in cahoots with it.
“The conviction rate of NAB cases is 70 per cent and not 7.0 per cent,” he clarified, adding that he had requested the government to contact NAB for any information instead of contacting those who were facing references and investigations.
“I had asked the government to ask those who are not wanted by NAB so that they can give an independent opinion. I wonder if the authorities did not like this courage and the newspapers ran stories that government authorities are not happy with me. I think there is no need to be angry and the government should keep a big heart,” he added.