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Cases involving politicians: NAB forms committee to assess its performance

By Usman Manzoor
October 01, 2018

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after being grilled by the Supreme Court (SC) for its poor performance and being in the limelight for hyper-activism towards a selected political party right before the general elections, has formed a committee to review the performance of all the bureaus with special focus on why didn’t the years-old cases against politicians convert into court cases, The News has learnt.

The sources in NAB say that the performance assessment committee would dispel the impression regarding hyper-activism towards politicians, right at the edge of General Elections 2018, especially towards one political party and that many Directors General (DGs) of the bureau would have to justify why important arrests were made right before the election.

The sources said that interestingly the task has been given by the NAB chairman to a director and an additional director and both the officers of the committee have worked under the DGs posted in different bureaus, which might turn out to be a laughing stuff as despite passage of several weeks, the committee is yet to gather information from the veterans in NAB who have been sitting on political cases for years and to show some visible performance, a few politicians were summoned before the election and a few arrests were made.

“NAB’s Lahore and Karachi offices mostly deal with high-profile cases and the committee has been specifically tasked to inquire how come arrests were coincidently made in years-old case just before general elections,” a well-placed officer in NAB disclosed. He added: “The DGs will have to justify that it was coincident that important personalities were summoned before the election and that bureau had no political motive”.

It is worth mentioning here that NAB arrested Ahad Cheema, one of Shahbaz Sharif’s favorite bureaucrats in February this year and after that when the interim setup came, NAB started summoning Shahbaz Sharif of PML-N; Aleem Khan of PTI; PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi and former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s close aide Fawad Hassan Fawad. Fawad was then arrested twenty days before general election.

NAB also controversially arrested PML-N candidate Qamar-ul-Islam contesting against Ch Nisar Ali Khan. Shahbaz Sharif was also summoned in a scam. NAB claims that some 116 water filtration plants were installed on exorbitant rates in Bahawalpur and false estimates of the plants in documents were mentioned.

PTI’s Aleem Khan is facing probes in a real estate entity, which he owns and his off-shore companies. PML-Q’s Moonis elahi, scion of Ch Pervaiz Elahi, faces a case of assets beyond means. Fawad Hassan Fawad is accused of illegally awarding contracts.

NAB for the last one year has issued hundreds of press releases regarding every complaint it has received against the politicians and in most of the cases, the allegation against a politician was at complaint verification stage which is the initial stage. NAB also had to face embarrassment for initiating a CV against Mian Nawaz Sharif for allegedly laundering $4.9 billion to India, which was even refuted by the World Bank.