ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has said despite a restricted budget, the conviction rate in the cases is above 70 percent.
“The NAB budget is limited and whenever the NAB initiated any inquiry against government officials of the day, and though they could not do anything, sometime they freeze the hardship allowance of NAB or put a cut in the budget but NAB’s determination will not be affected by these kind of measures in the war against corruption,” he said while addressing the seminar titled, “Corruption an impediment in Economic Development; Official Authority a sacred public responsibility”, organised by the NAB Rawalpindi here at the NAB headquarters on Thursday.
The NAB chairman said NAB will face all difficulties for the cause but will never make any compromise with anyone either be in power or in opposition or belongs to any segment of society. “Anyone who sustains the loss to country through corruption is answerable not only before the Almighty Allah but also before the NAB and courts of law,” he said.
Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal said he never responded to the criticism on him but if the allegations were levelled against the NAB without any purpose and for the sake of the allegations, then he will not remain silent being the head of the institution.
The chairman NAB said that taking mega corruption cases to logical conclusion is the foremost priority of NAB. He said NAB has filed 105 references out of 179 corruption cases, furthermore, 19 corruption cases are being investigated while 15 cases are at the inquiry stage right now. “The cases are being pursued as per law. Whereas 40 cases have been disposed of as per the law,” he said.
He said NAB deals with mega corruption cases and right now 1,210 corruption references of Rs900 billion are in various accountability courts. He said that NAB has fixed a time-frame of 10 months to conclude the corruption cases on scientific basis and in the light of prevalent laws.
“No other corruption dealing institution has ever fixed a time-frame for concluding corruption cases,” he said. The chairman said NAB had apprehended 503 persons during last one year on corruption charges and conducted complaint verification of 1,713 complaints and during the period NAB had also approved conducting 877 inquiries, 227 investigations besides filing 440 corruption references in different accountability courts, which is a record as no matching performance of NAB could be found in just one year’s period.
He said NAB was conducting investigations of Modarba/ Musharka cases on priority basis and it had so far arrested 34 accused in Modarba and Musharka scams and had decided to bring back the wanted absconder through Interpol. He said NAB has already filed a corruption reference in accountability court, Islamabad, against Mufti Ehsan in Modarba case. “The court had awarded 10 years imprisonment and Rs9 billion fines to Mufti Ehsan while his nine other co-accused were imposed Rs1 billion fines,” he said.
He said NAB was doing sincere efforts to eradicate corruption from society as well as the country. NAB firmly believes in ensuring a corruption-free Pakistan. Brushing aside the impression of hindering economic activities, the chairman said that NAB has already established a dedicated cell to resolve the issues of business community.
He directed early conclusion of ongoing investigations against illegal housing societies/ Cooperative Housing Societies and recovery of looted money as early as possible. He said NAB was taking measures to fix the corrupt sans any discrimination and for eliminating the menace of corruption.