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NAB plans to make ‘performance’ more visible

By Usman Manzoor
July 04, 2018

ISLAMABAD: After the arrest of Qamarul Islam Raja, the PML-N candidate against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) plans to show more visible “performance” in Punjab as the NAB chairman has ordered all the bureaus of the corruption watchdog to take “decisions” in cases that have matured, well-placed sources in the Bureau told The News.

The sources said the NAB Lahore has been directed especially, to wind up the cases and the “performance” of NAB should be visible to the public. In return, the NAB Lahore has sought over a dozen officers from the NAB headquarters expressing that the Bureau was short of officers and it was impossible for it to show its performance before the upcoming elections.

Importantly, the NAB chairman has spent an entire last week in Lahore where he visited the Lahore bureau on almost daily basis. Of late, the NAB Lahore has been in the limelight for summoning Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Aleem Khan of the PTI, Moonis Elahi of the PML-Q and Fawad Hassan Fawad, a close confidant of Mian Nawaz Sharif, and Zaeem Qadri from Lahore.

Sources in the NAB said the Lahore bureau is over stuffed with cases involving politicians and that is the reason it has been especially directed by the NAB chairman to show performance.

On the other hand, in the case of illegal appointments in Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB), where senior PTI leader from Sindh Liaquat Ali Jatoi is facing allegations, the NAB has decided to strongly oppose his bail in the Sindh High Court (SHC) which has been fixed for July 12. The NAB is hopeful that it will succeed in getting Jatoi’s bail cancelled from the SHC, which would again be a major arrest before the elections.

It is worth mentioning here that it is not only Jatoi who is facing the allegations as former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and PTI leader’s brother Ismail Qureshi is also an accused in the reference filed by the NAB in the AEDB case.

Regarding the NAB Lahore, sources maintained that a case of 56 companies is being investigated that belong to the Punjab government and Saaf Paani is one of them in which the PML-N candidate has been arrested by the NAB. Reportedly, the NAB claims that corruption worth Rs80 billion has been done in companies established by the Punjab government. The case was referred to the NAB after it was observed that the government servants were receiving salaries in millions as CEOs of these companies.

The NAB officials claim that the Bureau was doing its duty as per the law and no political party was its target as the NAB has initiated cases against all the political parties including the PPP, PTI and PML-N. The officials said the allegations of selective accountability do not have any grounds.