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Tuesday July 16, 2024

NAB chief visits grave of anti-graft crusader’s victim

The chairman felt sorry for coming late and said he wanted to visit several other ‘victims’ of the NAB

By Umar Cheema
July 10, 2024
NAB Chairman  Lt-Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmad Butt speaks at an event in this undated image. — APP/File
NAB Chairman  Lt-Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmad Butt speaks at an event in this undated image. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: On May 1, a widow received a call from the National Accountability Bureau. The caller was from the chairman NAB’s office and wanted permission for his boss to come. For what? she asked and then refused to meet. “It is too late now.” Brig (retd) Asad Munir, her husband had committed suicide five years ago.

The Chairman NAB, Lt Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmed Butt, nevertheless insisted on visiting the family. Asad, a retired brigadier and a person of impeccable integrity, mentioned in his suicide note the harassment by NAB as the only cause of committing suicide because it had made his life ‘miserable.’ He took his life with the hope that it would save many others from the humiliation they suffered at the hands of NAB “for the crimes they had not committed”. Three years after his death, an accountability court acquitted Asad.

A floral wreath can be seen at the grave of Brig (retd) Asad Munir. — Reporter
A floral wreath can be seen at the grave of Brig (retd) Asad Munir. — Reporter

Butt was intrigued by his suicide note. Although, he wanted to condole with the family, he was keen to know more about his last note. At this, the family showed readiness to meet. He told Saeeda, the widow of Asad and Khalid Munir, his brother, that the NAB was in the process of drafting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigating government officers and wanted to learn what Asad went through, so that it was not repeated. He was also keen to know why NAB went after Asad without a solid reason. The family was not very aware of the motives. Saeeda who was initially reluctant to meet him was appreciative of his gesture. “I found him to be a very nice person,” she said.

The chairman felt sorry for coming late and said he wanted to visit several other ‘victims’ of the NAB. Meeting Asad’s family was his first visit. Three days later, he visited the graveyard of Sector H-8. A friend of Asad went to offer Fateha and found a flower bouquet at his grave. A note on it read: Lt. General (retd) Nazir Ahmed Butt, Chairman NAB. He took a picture. Flowers had faded by that time.

Although, the chairman has expressed his intention to visit other victims, Asad’s family is probably the only one he has visited so far. A NAB source said he plans to see a former vice chancellor during his next trip to Lahore. He was handcuffed by NAB and that picture resonated with people across the divide.