Thursday September 29, 2022

‘NAB not an issue, but solution to issues’

By Our Correspondent
June 16, 2021

LAHORE: National Accountability Bureau Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal Tuesday said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was not an issue, as alleged by its critics, but a solution to the issues.

He was addressing a ceremony, held to distribute cheques worth Rs900 million among 660 affectees of Toyota Gujranwala Motors scandal at the NAB Regional office here.

He said NAB and corruption could not go together as the anti-corruption department had been set up to serve the poor and not the rich. He said constructive criticism could help the Bureau learn about various dimensions for taking action against corruption. But there were always two ways of criticism; so if someone could not project a positive image, he should not depress and deject people by indulging in criticism for the sake of criticism.

He said that some accused persons, after appearing before the courts in various cases, speak against NAB, adding that negative criticism of the Bureau by some political leaders could not make any difference as it was an independent lawful institution, working to take action against corruption.

Justice Javed Iqbal said that in the past, it was alleged that investors and businessmen were not satisfied with NAB and the investment had been affected by the NAB operations. “If the investors were afraid of NAB action, there had not been positive trend in the stock markets and construction sector, as well, besides significant increase in economic reserves in the country,” the chairman added.

He said that some elements were asking for amending the NAB laws, but they should read existing NAB laws first. He said an ordinance had also been brought earlier to amend the NAB law, which remained imposed for four months, and no major decision was made during that period in the presence of the said ordinance. However, later that amendment was withdrawn. Those intending to bring an amendment to the NAB law should read the Supreme Court's decision pertaining to Asfandyar Wali case, he added.

Regarding money laundering, Javed Iqbal said that NAB would definitely continue its proceedings if there would be enough evidence including statements of witnesses in the corruption cases.

He said it was a huge challenge to recover the looted money from the corrupt, adding that NAB was a people-friendly institution, working to take measures only for checking and curbing corruption and uplifting the country.

The chairman also appreciated the performance of NAB Lahore’s combined investigation team.