Home News Analysis NAB vs corrupt elite: Who will prevail?

NAB vs corrupt elite: Who will prevail?

prevail
  • 42
    Shares

News Analysis |

In a major development, the government has decided to conduct an audit of power plants set up by the previous government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The information minister Fawad Chaudhary made the announcement while addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Islamabad.

The minister also said that “the PML-N government signed agreements to produce electricity at extremely high costs.” While commenting on the Quaid-e-Azam power plant Mr. Chaudhry said that “Quaid-e-Azam solar plant is the most expensive power plant in the world,”

Prime Minister Imran Khan made it clear during his maiden speech to the nation that whenever powerful and corrupt people would be brought before the law there would be propaganda against the government.

The information minister further said that the price of electricity was increased by Rs1.32 owing to different power plants. “The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated an inquiry against LNG plants set-up in Punjab.”

Moreover, Mr. Chaudhry also announced that the government has decided to carry out an audit of all power plants in the country, Chaudhry added, “We have already started the audit of two power plants.” He, however, expressed his anger over those saying the government must not go after opposition for their alleged corruption in the past. “Then what is the point of having a PTI-led government in the country?” Chaudhry asked angrily.

Read more: NAB vs Shahbaz – The Ultimate Royal Rumble! – Maleeha Hashmey

It is worth mentioning here that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has already arrested opposition leader Mian Shahbaz Sharif, some of his aides, a few bureaucrats, and politicians for their alleged corruption. Inquiries are underway against the former president Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and his sister as well.

Background of Corruption Cases

The NAB and the present government are being pressured to avoid across the board accountability. The matter started when the Supreme Court of Pakistan on July 7, 2015, ordered the NAB, to conclude all investigations into the high profile corruption cases by Dec 31, 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.

It is yet to be seen how the government deals with the opposition in a situation where the government remained unable to win by-polls held on last Sunday.

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.

Moreover, currently, the NAB is working on 19 inquiries and 23 investigations, while 36 cases have already been disposed of.

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

Read more: Today marks a year since NAB filed three-references against Nawaz

Interestingly, among the 179 cases of mega corruption, 22 are related to financial corruption, 27 to housing societies, and 71 pertained to corruption and misuse of authority by high-ranking public officials.

Challenge for the PTI Government

Prime Minister Imran Khan made it clear during his maiden speech to the nation that whenever powerful and corrupt people would be brought before the law there would be propaganda against the government. A narrative would also be established as if the democracy was under threat, he added.

Similar observations have been made by the information minister on Tuesday. He maintained that the government was facing and would face more challenges by the political opponents for allowing the NAB to independently conduct inquiries into financial matters of those who have been holding the public offices.

Read more: NAB in the docket – Saad Rasool

It is yet to be seen how the government deals with the opposition in a situation where the government remained unable to win by-polls held on last Sunday.


  • 42
    Shares

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.