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MD
Monitoring Desk
February 9, 2018

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NAB chief gives last warning

NAB chief gives last warning

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal complained on Thursday that some departments of the Punjab government were not cooperating with the anti-graft body, according to Geo News report.

Addressing a ceremony here, the NAB chief warned that failure to cooperate with the anti-corruption officials would not be tolerated in future. He said they should make all-out efforts to reject bail of influential culprits, who pressurise witnesses and protect witnesses. He said that those who gave directives on someone’s orders would eventually have to bear the brunt of their wrongdoings.

However, Javed Iqbal added, he would try to eradicate corruption till he was in office. “It is necessary to clean one’s own house before raising fingers at someone else,” he said. About the anti-graft body, he said NAB was not biased towards anyone. Even NAB officials would be tried if a complaint was received against them, he added.

Regarding the bureaucracy, the NAB chief said it was the backbone of the country. “[But] I will not tolerate lack of cooperation on the part of the bureaucracy,” he warned. The NAB chief also spoke about scams pertaining to private housing schemes, saying their owners should know they would be tried. “Those getting conned by private housing scheme [owners] include pensioners and the poor people,” Javed Iqbal said.

He added that owners of such housing schemes show people dreams of getting a roof but the reality of such projects is “horrible”. “If owners of private housing schemes cannot provide a roof, they should [at least] reimburse people’s money,” he added.

The NAB chief said private housing scheme owners make projects but seldom read the rules, one of which also requires them to keep the interest rate low. He pledged to eliminate corruption from the country as it was the mother of all evils.

Cheques worth Rs304.137 million were also distributed among 2,009 affected people of various scandals. He said NAB had taken action against corruption across the board and no one would be spared if found involved in a corruption case.

"Gone are the days when fraudulent people plundered money of innocent people. I assure you that no one like the Double Shah could dare deprive people of their money in future," he said. Our correspondent adds: NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal said that he would focus on ‘cases’ rather than ‘faces’ and would resign the day he would feel that he was not doing his job.

Speaking at a cheque distribution ceremony among victims of Elite Town Housing Society and Double Shah scam here at NAB Lahore office on Thursday, the chairman said that due to a large number of public money looters the country’s debts have reached $88 billion.

The chairman wondered that when we ask people where this huge amount ($84 billion) was spent. He made it clear that NAB is not hatching a ‘conspiracy’ against democracy. “We have not taken any revenge nor will we,” he declared. He also said NAB was not representing any political party nor it believed in any victimisation. He said accountability of all would remain his top priority.

Lauding the performance of NAB Lahore, retired justice said Rs4 billion has been recovered out of Rs9 billion in Double Shah Scam, and distributed among the victims. Similarly, he said, NAB Lahore had also recovered Rs1.2 billion out of Rs1.9 billion from the other accused of Double Shah scam.

In the Elite Housing Society scam, he said NAB recovered and distributed Rs360 million among the affected families so far. “We will not allow anyone to become another Double Shah,” Javed Iqbal said, adding, regulators like Lahore Development Authority (LDA) would also be held accountable in illegal housing societies cases in the future cases.

“Why do regulators keep mum when an advertisement is given in newspapers,” he questioned. These regulators, he said, should check all the housing societies whether they have obtained any NOC from them or not and whether they have submitted their layout plan to LDA or not. Moreover, the chairman NAB also appealed to people to invest only in approved and recognised housing societies.

He further said bail of influential culprits will be rejected if NAB deemed necessary. He reiterated that the bureaucracy can’t run under any other entity’s orders. Earlier, speaking on the occasion, DG NAB Lahore Saleem Shahzad said that NAB had returned Rs18 billion to 300,000 affectees during 18 years, whereas NAB Lahore had returned Rs400 million to people during 2018.

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