PESHAWAR: The retired chairman of the National Accountability Bureau, Justice Javed Iqbal, on Tuesday promised the full cooperation of the anti-corruption watchdog to the single-member Broadsheet Inquiry Commission on the revelations of corruption and money laundering in Pakistan by the UK-based wealth recovery firm and said the new NAB administration had little to do with the Broadsheet issue.
Mr. Iqbal said that the NAB deal with the Broadsheet corporation was signed in 2000 and came to an end in 2003 during a visit to the NAB regional headquarters here.
The inquiry commission has been functional and all-out assistance will be provided to it by the NAB, he added. The NAB chairman said 1,230 corruption references to the misappropriation of about Rs943 billion had been pending with accountability courts across the country.
“The NAB intends to file early hearing requests for these references with the accountability courts,” he added.
Says accountability courts to be requested for early hearing into graft references
Mr. Iqbal said that the NAB was a human-friendly organisation that often extended reverence to those acting in compliance with the Constitution and the law and, thus, it should not be apprehensive of bureaucracy.
“The NAB has no relationship with any political party, group or person and respects all politicians in accordance with the law’s requirements,” he said.
The NAB chairman said that within 24 hours of detention, a suspect was produced before the court and that the court had the right to remand him or her in the office’s custody.
He said the NAB was the only organisation that had signed a memorandum of understanding under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative with the Chinese government skipping the schemes.
Mr. Iqbal said the success of the NAB has been hailed by international organisations of repute, including Openness International, the World Economic Forum and Global Peace Canada.
He said the bureau was a role model for the countries of Saarc and, under the UN Convention against Corruption, was a focal institution in the region.
On a scientific basis, we have agreed to launch refresher courses for our officials, taking account of modern day requirements. We have also taken measures to strengthen the supervision and appraisal process, to prepare references on the basis of clear facts, and to carry out successful litigation in the courts, so that no relief can be granted to corrupt elements,” he said.
The chairman of the NAB said propaganda against his group was initiated by elements who did not want to be responsible for their actions.
He said the office not only paid for those elements, but also lodged lawsuits and references against them and made immense recoveries.
Mr. Iqbal said the NAB did not give in to negative rhetoric, accusations and threats, and held the individuals accountable for their actions who had never dreamed of being challenged. He said that during his three-year term as chairman, NAB had recovered about Rs487 billion.
Earlier, retired Brigadier Farooq Nasir Awan, NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director general, told the chairman that 182 referrals to accountability courts in Peshawar are reportedly pending.
He said that 68 complaints were scrutinised by the bureau and 95 complaints were reviewed and 36 complaints were thoroughly investigated.
The DG said that the NAB KP had recovered Rs3,018 billion over the past three years, which was deposited in the exchequer.
In some incidents, he added, the money plundered from individuals over bogus housing schemes was retrieved and returned to their owners.