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July 5, 2019

Those who ruled for 35 years to face Ehtesab first: NAB

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July 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Justice (R) Javed Iqbal Thursday said those who’d ruled the country for 35 years would face Ehtesab (accountability) first than those who’d been in power for a few months.

“Some people remained in power for 35 to 40 years, while others had been in power for a few months, so all those who had been in power for 35 years will be held accountable first,” he said while addressing a ceremony where cheques were distributed among the victims of fake housing societies.

Justice Javed said the NAB neither believed in political victimisation nor it was involved in politics and its sole mission was to eradicate corruption. He said some people had tried to divert the nation’s attention from their corruption by alleging that the NAB was being used for political revenge but all their efforts failed.

“Flashing a victory sign does not give the accused a clean chit. If bureaucrats do a good job, why would we question them?” “We never see a face but the case, as many cases were not pursued by the NAB just because of lack of evidence andwe never think of any political vendetta,” he said, adding that the NAB had no conflict with anyone.

He said the NAB’s first and the last affiliation was only with Pakistan. “You did not do anything to us. What was done was against the country. If anybody did anything against the country, then there is no question of forgiveness from the NAB. It does not matter who you are or where you are from. If you have done something, you will pay for it. This is NAB’s policy and we stand by it,” he added.

The NAB chairman said it was very easy to allege political victimization and that the NAB action was partial. “If anyone can prove that I have met any parliamentarian, then I will leave the office without hesitation,” he said.

He said it was appearing in newspapers that the NAB was doing political engineering and when he asked for its meaning, he was told that it meant the NAB was indulging in make or break.

“The NAB is not meant for make or break but for eradication of corruption from the society and political engineering or victimization is out of question,” he said. He said the NAB had succeeded to some extent in curbing corruption.

“No one is big or small for me or the NAB. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the NAB. We carry out our inquiries in a very respectable manner,” he added. “Those who were on motorcycles in 80s now own towers in Dubai and London. Asking them about these properties is our duty. If we don’t question them, it would be a lapse of the duty,” he said.

He said the NAB had all the evidences in all cases including those pertaining to money laundering and time will tell how the NAB was investigating and pleading these cases in the courts. “The evidence of money laundering of over billions of rupees will be presented before the courts and it would be better for them to think about their defense in the courts rather than cursing the NAB,” he said.

He said currently 1,250 references were in the courts and the nation will see their logical end soon. He said no one in Pakistan ever imagined that these people could be questioned and it was not because of any personal vendetta or conspiracy but on the basis of strong evidences and information gathered from the national and international bodies.

“Should we close our eyes to this situation?” he questioned. He said there was a huge difference between a normal crime and a white-collar crime, as ample time was needed to prove a white-collar crime.

“We respect Parliament and all its members, as they are the people’s representatives. There are a few members facing cases and they proposed amendments to the budget to cut raise in the NAB employees’ salaries. Some NAB to pack it up. No such proposals were accepted. I want to assure the nation that we are giving back more to the nation than what is being spent on us,” he added. The NAB chairman said he was returning Rs200 million recovered from different housing societies.

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