NAB countering propaganda with performance, says chairman

PESHAWAR: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has said that an organised propaganda campaign has been launched against the bureau by some elements and they (NAB authorities) believe in countering it with their performance.

Speaking at a meeting of officials of NAB’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter during a visit to its regional headquarters, Mr Iqbal said that taking cases of mega corruption to its logical conclusion was the prime priority of the bureau as survival of the country depended on eradication of corruption.

“I assure all that no politics or revengeful activities is involved in the functioning of the bureau. If preparing cases is inevitable these would definitely be pursued and sent to the court concerned and it is the task of the court to convict or acquit a person,” he said.

Dispelling the impression of any political agenda being pursued by NAB, he said that there were no political considerations in the functioning of the bureau.

“Recently, some parliamentarians have sent me a letter seeking a meeting and I have welcomed them,” said Justice Iqbal.

After a briefing by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa NAB Director General Farmanullah Khan, the chairman hailed the regional wing’s performance and said that he had deeply examined all the cases in progress and references would be filed in accountability courts within the stipulated time.

He said that through transparent investigations, solid evidence and merit, cases of mega corruption in KP would be taken to their logical conclusion.

About the recent death of former chief executive officer of the University of Sargodha’s Lahore Campus Mian Ahmad Jawed, he said that he was neither a professor nor a vice chancellor. “He had been in judicial custody since October and was not in the custody of NAB and, therefore, we had nothing to do with his death,” he said.

The NAB chairman said that it was regrettable that Mr Jawed was handcuffed at the time of his death, but after looking at the picture keenly it was evident that the handcuffs were deliberately placed in such a way that these should be visible in the picture.

He said that the government of Punjab had initiated an inquiry into the incident and held two or three police officials responsible for the occurrence.

Justice Iqbal said that he had issued strict orders to NAB officers to respect self-esteem of every person and not to handcuff any suspect.

The chairman said that one thing should be kept in mind now that the masses were not so naïve that they could not differentiate between right and wrong.

He said that the people now knew about performance of every institution.

“You are witnessing outcome of several of the cases. Such results were never achieved in the past,” the NAB chairman said, adding that action was taken in accordance with the law over those cases which had been put in cold storage for many years.

He said that this year 440 references were filed in accountability courts across the country, adding that they were following “zero-tolerance” policy against corruption.

Later, Justice Iqbal distributed cheques among the affected persons of the Nowshera Blue City Housing Scheme.

Meanwhile, the chairman has directed all the regional heads of NAB to regularly hear public complaints.

In the light of these directives, DG Farmanullah Khan will hear public complaints on Thursday (today) from 2pm to 4pm at the regional headquarters.