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August 11, 2017

NAB drops probe into 14 mega corruption cases

Top Story

August 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Out of 175 mega corruption cases, which the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had shared with the Supreme Court in 2015, investigations into a total of 14 high profile cases has been closed by the Bureau.

The cases dropped so far include those involving Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, KP former chief minister Aftab Sherpao, ex-ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, former PPP minister and presently PTI leader Firdous Ashiq Awan and Mehrangate-linked Yunis Habib.

As per the announced policy of the NAB, each inquiry/investigation was to be either closed or converted into a reference but it could not be done in most of these high profile cases including those being probed against some leading politicians including Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry Shujaat, etc.

Through in-house reformation process, the NAB in early 2015 limited the discretionary powers of its regional chiefs and director generals to end the past practices of blackmailing, witch-hunting and political victimisation and decided that a complaint against any politician, bureaucrat, individual etc would either be dropped or converted into a reference within ten months.

Under the same policy, the regional chiefs as well as the authorities concerned at the NAB headquarters were given two months time to complete the process of complaint verification. It was said if the complaint was verified and had “prima facie evidence”, it would be converted into inquiry otherwise it would be thrown in the dustbin. For the completion of inquiry, the NAB authorities are given four months time during which they need to get hold of incriminating evidence.

It was decided that in case the required evidence was obtained during the four-month inquiry process, it would be converted into “investigation”. In the case of non-availability of “incrementing evidence”, the inquiry would be dropped. However, in most of the high profile cases the set deadlines could not be met.

According to the details as available on NAB’s official website, inquiry against Younus Habib into HBL willful loan default has been settled after the recovery of Rs3 billion by the bank. Investigation against Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao into $1 million alleged corruption case was closed in 2015.

Inquiry against Firdous Ashiq Awan for alleged misuse of authority and embezzlement closed in January this year. Investigation against Ishaq Dar into allegations of misuse of authority and assets beyond means was closed in July 2016. Investigation against Husain Haqqani into alleged misuse of authority in unlawful award of licences to three private companies for establishing FM radio station in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad closed in May 2016.

Inquiry against Management of OGDCL Employees Cooperative Housing Society, M/s Faizan (Pvt) Ltd & others into fraudulent purchase of land and involving Rs600 million was closed in Oct 2015.

Inquiry into the affairs of Ministry of Housing & Works, Islamabad & others into alleged embezzlement in purchase of 3000 kanal land and development of a housing scheme was closed through settlement. FGHEF issued pay orders amounting to Rs686 million in the name of Green Tree as guarantee to start development at the site.

Inquiry against officials of CDA Islamabad and others over alleged illegal allotment of plots in Diplomatic Enclave was closed in August 2016. Inquiry against Javed Nadeem Akram, Management of Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society (PECHS) & others into alleged embezzlement of society’s funds, was closed in Jan 2016.

Inquiry against Management of National Assembly Secretariat Cooperative Housing Society (NASECHS) & others into violation of approved master plan and illegal allotment of land, closed in January 2017.

Inquiry against Management of Civilian Employees Cooperative Housing Scheme (Soan Garden Phase-II) & others into alleged cheating of public at large in the garb of housing society was completed and case was referred to registrar cooperatives for necessary action in April 2016.

Inquiry against Management of Al-Falah Cooperative Housing Society, Lahore and others for alleged misuse of authority, corruption and corrupt practices into the affairs of housing society was closed.

Inquiry against Dr Sohail Shahzad, acting VC Hazara University into alleged misuse of authority in appointments closed in March 2016. Inquiry against officers/officials of Rawalpindi Development Authority and others into alleged misuse of authority in irregular award of elevator and PSD Metro Bus Project RWP-ISD was closed in December 2016.