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Monday, April 15, 2024

NAB Gives Clean Chit To Hina Rabbani Khar

Hina Rabbani and her father get a clean chit. Does the NAB need to work on improving its mechanism of inquiry? Shouldn't NAB only start the case when enough evidence has been gathered?

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal gave the approval to close inquiries against politicians Ghulam Rabbani Khar and his daughter, former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar. There are rumors that these developments are a result of the deal between the establishment and opposition parties. However, such claims could not independently be verified.

According to the details, the decision was made during a meeting of the NAB’s executive board in which the NAB deputy chairman, prosecutor general, NAB Rawalpindi director general and other officials were in attendance.

The board gave the approval to close ongoing inquires over corruption charges against Ghulam Rabbani Khar, Hina Rabbani Khar, former chairman NICL Ayaz Niazi over lack of evidence.

Speaking at the executive board meeting, Justice (r) Iqbal said the bureau strictly following the principle of “accountability for all”. He added that 610 corruption references were filed during the last 23 months in the accountability courts.

Read more: A step in the right direction: NAB to focus on mega corruption cases only

Prof. G-M Pitafi of the University of Management and Technology, Lahore believes that “NAB does not collect evidence but begins cases against these politicians which results in utter failure of the watchdog”. He also pointed out that in many high-profile cases the NAB was unable to furnish any convincing evidence before the courts. It raises more questions, he added.

NAB After Bigwigs

It is worth mentioning here that the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered NAB to conclude all investigations into these mega cases by Dec 31, 2015, on July 7, 2015. The court also expressed displeasure over the cases pending for over a decade with no real progress.

Later on, the NAB had sought an extension of three months. The SC, however, instructed to present a final report to the court by the termination of the requested extension on March 31, 2016.

As the new Chairman assumed the office, the prosecution division of the bureau was immediately ordered to finalize all 179 mega corruption investigations as soon as possible. It was revealed during a performance review meeting of NAB chaired by Justice Iqbal that investigations into 101 cases had been concluded, and references had been filed in the respective accountability courts, where the corruption cases would be adjudicated in accordance with the law.

Read more: NAB Denies Initiating Probe Against Ahsan Iqbal

The 179 mega corruption cases were lodged against the industrialists, traders, senior bureaucrats and prominent politicians, including the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf , former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain, former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti, former chief minister of Balochistan Aslam Raisani, former communication minister Arbab Jahangir and his wife Begum Asma Arbab, MPA Asif Nakai, MNA Syed Iftikhar Shah, former minister Murid Kazim, former chairmen of NICL Ayaz Khan and Javed Akram and former chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Asif Hashim.