Wednesday September 22, 2021

NAB laws

July 24, 2021

This refers to the news report ‘Working on changing [National Accountability Bureau] NAB law: says PM’ (July 16). Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his interactive session with businessman in Tashkent, said that his government was working to change NAB laws due to growing fears among bureaucracy and businessmen in the country. This statement is in contradiction to his earlier statement that out of the 220 million people in Pakistan, only two million people pay taxes. He also added that when it comes to charity and donation, Pakistan is on the top of the list of countries that make donations. It is on record that close to $200 billion was looted from the country and stashed in foreign banks. This money needs to be recovered soon. There is no doubt that since its inception, NAB’s performance has been outstanding.

From 1999 to date, it has recovered more than Rs700 billion. In the last three years, it recovered close to Rs487 billion. The government has already given a lot of concessions to the business community, and a free hand to bureaucrats. The fear expressed by bureaucrats and businessmen that NAB’s harassment is the main reason for their poor performance is not wholly justified. NAB, at times, may have exceeded its authority, but amending laws to safeguard interests of businessmen and bureaucrats and making NAB a toothless organisation is not a wise decision.

Lt Col (r) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt