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I
INP
November 20, 2019

One-sided accountability’s perception will be dispelled: NAB chairman

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I
INP
November 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has strongly denied that the anti-corruption watchdog was siding with someone, and hinted at “a wind of change” to end the perception of one-sided accountability.

“I categorically reject that the NAB is siding someone, however, the country will see a wind of change as the institution [NAB] had previously focused only on [corruption] cases filed in the past. We are moving to a new ground now and the complaint against the accountability process which seemed one-sided will be addressed,” said the NAB chief while speaking at an event here. He said the NAB had no connection with any political party, group or gang as it was only connected with Pakistan and its nationals. “It is impossible that the NAB will keep the eye closed against the people who are ruling the country. Anyone belonging to the ruling political party should not think about being exempted from the accountability process in the country. The institution has witnessed corruption made in the last 30 to 35 years and it will also scrutinise those who gained power during the last few months.”

Justice Iqbal said the NAB was seeking the removal of Supreme Court’s stay order in Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project, saying no major corruption case was reported after 2017.

He called for constructive criticism instead of levelling baseless allegations, character assassination and extending threats to him. He ruled out any possibility of surrender or compromise on the part of anti-corruption watchdog. He clarified that the NAB will neither give relaxation nor NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] to those involved in corrupt practices. “The institution has neither personal enmity nor friendship with anyone and it is strictly following its regulations,” he added.

He said probe into mega corruption cases could not be completed within 90 days owing to shortage of resources and judges. Pointing towards former premier Nawaz Sharif’s departure to London without naming him, the NAB chief said: “If one is allowed to get medical treatment in London and United States then other such people also happen to be human beings”.

Justice Iqbal announced that the bureau will not summon women to its offices and a female official will take the questionnaire to them. He said the anti-corruption watchdog had set its targets to make Pakistan a corruption free state. “The NAB will eliminate corruption from the country regardless of its consequences. Every power ends outside the office of the NAB and if arresting a criminal is a crime then this will be continued.”

He mentioned the NAB’s Rawalpindi chapter had made a historic recovery of Rs2.25 billion through plea bargain. He added that the bureau was working towards improving its performance and no tolerance was being shown for delay in corruption cases.

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