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September 14, 2019

After bureaucracy and businessmen: Now corporate professionals being haunted

Top Story

September 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: After having been alleged of severely haunting and harassing the civil bureaucracy and business community, the NAB’s action of arresting PSO former MD Shaikh Imranul Haq has sent a serious wave of anxiety among corporate professionals in the country which, it is feared, will further hurt the already dwindling economy of the country.

No less than PTI’s top leader and former finance minister Asad Umar in a TV talk show spoke very high of the integrity and repute of Shaikh Imranul Haq and admitted that the NAB decision to arrest him has shook the entire corporate sector in Pakistan.

Asad Umar said that he had worked with Imranul Haq for twenty years on the basis of which he sees PSO former MD as an “outstanding professional” enjoying great integrity… “That’s the Imranul Haq I know, that’s the Imranul Haq I worked with.”

Saying that the corporate professionals in the country are really disturbed with the arrest of Imranul Haq, Asad Umar questioned the very reason for the arrest of Haq by NAB. He said that no one would question the NAB if it questions the PSO’s former MD but arresting him at the stage of inquiry is really objectionable.

If there is any evidence against the PSO’s former MD then, he said, the NAB should probe the matter and also include him in the inquiry but why to arrest a professional who was not running away anywhere.

Asad said that although he does not know what evidence NAB has got against Imranul Haq, the NAB press release that was issued on the matter had nothing against the corporate professional.

He said if the NAB believes that Imranul Haq’s appointment as PSO MD was against the rules or set procedures, then it could be a case against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi but not against Haq. He wondered how a person who is appointed against a particular post could be arrested for any violation of rule or procedure concerning his appointment.

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail and Imranul Haq are presently under NAB custody in the LNG terminal case. Interestingly all the three — Abbasi being a politician, Ismail a known businessman of the country and Haq, country’s top corporate professional- enjoy excellent reputation.

While Imranul Haq’s arrest has seriously jolted the corporate professional as admitted by Asad Umar, no less than Prime Minister Imran Khan has himself stated more than once that the civil bureaucracy and the business community feel harassed at the hands of NAB.

For the same reason, the PTI government has prepared a draft bill for amendment to the NAB law. According to the draft changes as reported by the media, the government not only intends to keep a check on Bureau’s power to arrest but wants to allow the courts to grant pre- and post-arrest bails.

The NAB law would not be applicable on a private person including the businessmen whereas the Bureau would not take action against civil servants in matters regarding departmental fraud unless evidence is found that they have taken undue advantage of the internal loopholes in their department.

NAB sources however, said that it is very difficult and time consuming to detect white collar crime. They said that NAB starts inquiries and follows all the cases as per laws and no violation is being committed. They said that soon all would come to the fore whether the accused are innocent. Following mounting criticism by the politicians, bureaucracy, media, businessmen and superior judiciary against the NAB and its controversial actions, the NAB management has recently decided not to entertain tax related cases of the businessmen.

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