News Analysis |
The National Accountability Bureau in collaboration with the Sindh government has recovered assets worth Rs1.30 billion and turned it over to the provincial government of Balochistan. The assets were largely real estate properties belonging to former finance minister Mushtaq Raisani.
The bureau chief also vowed to initiate inquiries against two leading Balochistan Ministers once the July 25 elections have passed.
NAB Investigation Officer Shoaib Sheikh said that all properties were registered on names of residents inhabiting far-off regions in Balochistan.In May of 2016, NAB officials formally arrested Raisani from his office and also raided his residence seizing Rs730 million in cash and jewelry valued at Rs40 million. Further evidence added to the ongoing investigation revealed the illegal possession of prime properties in Karachi’s posh Defence Housing Authority.
Three days later on the 9th of May, NAB cracked down on government official Sohail Majeed for allegedly conspiring with Raisani in his crimes.
Evidence incriminating Raisani proved he bought the assets through corrupt practices. Speaking from Lahore last Wednesday, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal withheld further comments on Raisani’s case. “Whatever happened in the case is in front of everyone,” he said.
On NAB orders, a unit, headed by deputy director Mohammad Shoaib Sheikh, was assembled for transferring the seized properties to the ownership of the Balochistan government.
Previously in 2017, the unit, including Balochistan Finance Department Additional Secretary Ashaq Jamali, along with the Sindh government as well as Karachi DHA officials began work on the transfer of registries for the illegally acquired properties.
Meanwhile, responded to critics to NAB’s revamped efforts nowadays, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal made it clear that the watchdog organization would not compromise on its commitment to eradicate corruption.
“NAB is performing its duty to root out corruption in a transparent manner”. He added that the organization feels no need to interfere in politics or elections, and is not motivated by vengeance.
Iqbal dismissed the criticism levelled at the anti-graft body as “baseless” while lamenting the billions of rupees looted from the country and stowed away in offshore assets and accounts. The bureau chief also vowed to initiate inquiries against two leading Balochistan Ministers once the July 25 elections have passed.