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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Naya Pakistan: How much money has NAB recovered?

News Analysis |

In an interesting revelation, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said that it has so far recovered a record 326 billion rupees from corrupt elements and deposited the amount into national exchequer. NAB is accused by the opposition for being politically motivated against PTI’s rivals, but analyst maintain that the anti-corruption watchdog is working independently.

According to details, Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal made the claim of record recovery of looted and ill-gotten money, along with that recovered via plea-bargains, while listening to the people’s corruption related complaints at a Khuli Kachehri (open court). The chairman issued on spot directives for resolving complaints of the complainants during the Khuli Kachehri.

NAB is Working Independently

NAB has been under severe criticism by the opposition for its alleged pro-government stance. The opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, has even gone as far to say in the National Assembly that the PTI and NAB are two sides of the same coin.

PM Imran Khan made it clear several times that NAB is an independent institution and the corrupt politicians and officials will not be spared at any cost. Cases are being investigated and filed by the watchdog which is worrisome for many politicians and bureaucrats in the country.

Read more:‘Promised Allah I would not let go of those who robbed country’: PM

NAB after Powerful Men in Pakistan

NAB is currently probing various cases of corruption and misuse of authority.  The matter started when the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the NAB on July 7, 2015, to conclude all investigations into these mega cases by Dec 31 of the same year. 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.

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.

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 (under investigation), former president Asif Ali Zardari (under trial), former Prime Ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (cases under trial) and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (case under investigation)

NAB is also proceeding against former Punjab Chief Ministers Chaudhry Pervez Elahi (case under investigation) and Shehbaz Sharif (case under investigation), former Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti (case under investigation), former Chief Minister of Balochistan Aslam Raisani (inquiry under progress).

Read more: Has NAB improved Pakistan’s image internationally?

The list also includes former Federal Minister Dr Asim Hussain (a case under trial and two others under investigation) 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 National Insurance Company Limited Ayaz Khan and Javed Akram (case under trail) and former chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Asif Hashim (case under inquiry).

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.