Sunday July 03, 2022

NAB chairman rejuvenated accountability body

October 21, 2021

Corruption is an evil that is defined as the dishonest or unethical method used by a person entrusted with a position or authority, for personal benefits, in other words, corruption is when a person who is responsible for a task, misuses that position for his own profit. Corruption includes bribery and embezzlement and has a greater impact on the Pakistani economy as corruption is not only a root cause but badly affects the state of economy, standard of living and social justice. Corruption eats up the innocence of people belonging to all walks of life. “If any country wants to achieve sustained socio economic development with healthy foreign investment, corruption must be eliminated at all cost” as corruption is one of the biggest obstacles and is a silent killer which is not only a serious challenge eroding the economic edifice of a country but promotes social and economic disparities, poverty and deprives deserving people of their due rights.

Keeping in view the ill effects of corruption and to tackle corruption and corrupt practices besides recovering looted money from corrupt elements, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was established in 1999. NAB from 1999 to Oct 2017 recovered Rs281 billion directly and indirectly whereas under the dynamic leadership of honourable NAB Chairman Mr Justice Javed Iqbal recovered Rs539 billion directly and indirectly till September 2021 after complete overhauling and reviewing NAB’s performance not only taken new initiatives but also introduced a comprehensive and effective anti-corruption strategy comprising Awareness, Prevention and Enforcement with commitment of “Accountability for All” and Self Accountability Policy with a Faith-Corruption free Pakistan which remained exemplary policy. Due to this reason, today, NAB has introduced a new concept of Combine Investigation Team (CIT) in order to benefit from the experienced and collective wisdom of its senior supervisory officers in order to further improve the standards and quality of inquiries/investigations on the basis of solid evidence as well as statements of witnesses and documentary evidence. This initiative of NAB is lending excellent results. Moreover, NAB is the focal Organization of Pakistan under United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and also is the Chairman of SAARC Anti-Corruption Forum due to its effective anti-corruption strategy.

NAB is the first Organization of the world to whom China has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to oversee CEPC projects in Pakistan. NAB has established its own state-of-the-art Pakistan Anti-Corruption Academy (PACA) which is working as an anti-corruption think-tank to empower professionals for the future white collar crimes challenges besides NAB has established its own Forensic Science Laboratory to improve the quality of inquiries/investigations. As per Gillani and Gallup Survey, 59 percent people have shown trust upon NAB besides NAB’s performance have been appreciated by reputed National and International organizations like; Transparency International, World Economic Forum, Global Peace, Canada, PILDAT and Mishal Pakistan. Moreover, the government of Pakistan has appreciated NAB’s efforts in improving Pakistan’s position among FATA/APG members especially during the preparation of post observation period report/follow up reports which helped FATF Coordination Committee of Pakistan to complete their work within the deadline. It is important to note here that NAB under the dynamic leadership of Honorable Mr Justice Javed Iqbal, Chairman NAB apprehended untouchables for the first time in the history of Pakistan and brought them to justice. Currently, 1278 references of NAB are under trial in the learned accountability courts throughout the country. The total worth of under trial references is approximately Rs1335.019 billion. NAB’s overall conviction ratio in accountability courts is about 66.8 percent.

NAB had received 5,01,723 complaints since its inception, out of which 4,91,358 complaints were disposed of. NAB has authorised 16,188 Complaint Verification (CVs), while 15,391 CVs were completed. NAB has authorised 10,297 inquiries, out of which 9,275 inquiries have been completed. NAB has authorised 4,693 investigations, out of which 4,358 investigations have been completed since its inception. Youth is our future; NAB has signed an MoU with the Higher Education Commission in order to aware youth of the ill effects of corruption in universities/colleges throughout the country at an early age. Under this initiative, NAB has successfully established more than 50 thousands character building societies in various universities/colleges besides constituting prevention committees in consultations with respective provincial and federal government departments in order to assist them to identify and plug loopholes in order to check corruption. NAB has devised a Monitoring and Evaluation System as well as a comprehensive Quantified Grading System in order to further improve the performance of NAB.

In line with its Enforcement Strategy, NAB has itself prescribed a timeframe of 10 months in which complaint verifications in two months, inquiries in four months and investigations in four months on alleged allegations of corruption and corrupt practices. NAB has also established Witness Handing Cells besides Complaint Cells in all its regional bureaus. Due to this reason, NAB is pursuing its cases in the learned courts very vigorously on the basis of solid documentary evidence. NAB has no affiliation with any political party, group and individual. NAB has only affiliation with the State of Pakistan.

Honourable Mr Justice Javed Iqbal, NAB Chairman has more than 40 years of experience in providing justice to people starting from Session Judge Quetta to Acting Chief Justice of Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan and now Chairman NAB. He believes in self-respect of humanity and does not believe in breaching the self-esteem of any person who comes to NAB. The indiscriminate actions of NAB under the dynamic leadership of Honorable Mr Justice Javed Iqbal have increased its prestige of NAB manifold against the mighty as the aim of NAB is to apprehend the corrupt elements and recover looted money so it should be deposited in the national exchequer which is indicative of the hard work, merit and hard work transparency being put in by all ranks of NAB officials in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being considered as a national duty. NAB hopes that through collective efforts for eradicating corruption, we could not only check the menace of corruption from our country but also could leave a better, prosperous and developed Pakistan for our future generations.

The writer is spokesperson