Over the past few months the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has come under intense criticism. Much of the criticism has been regarding NAB’s apparent ‘lack of interest’ in the Panama Papers case. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders led by the party’s Chairman Imran Khan have been the most critical of NAB, and have frequently questioned the role played by Chairman NAB.
NAB has also faced tough time in courts with many remarks by various courts in the country making headlines. Most of the remarks pertained to the ‘ineffective’ performance of NAB. However it is pertinent to mention here that after months of hearings in the Panama Papers Case, the final judgment by the Supreme Court of Pakistan tasked NAB to prepare and file references before the accountability court. The references were filed earlier this month against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad’s accountability court. Despite the filing of references there was speculation in certain sections of the media that the filed references are ‘weak’ (once again raising question marks over NAB).
However a recent interview of Director General NAB Lahore, Shahzad Saleem has made it clear that the NAB references are based on ‘strong evidence’ and allegations in certain quarters regarding NAB’s role are nothing but wild speculation. It is pertinent to mention here that two of the four references filed by NAB under the directions of the Supreme Court have been prepared and filed by NAB Lahore. It further came to light during the interview that NAB has not just relied on evidence and documents collected by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) but has also collected information from other countries under Mutual Legal Assistance. Further, highlighting NAB’s performance DG NAB Lahore said that NAB has recovered Rupees 290 billion in the last 18 years. He also lamented that NAB is unnecessarily criticized in certain sections of the media. The key take from his talk apart from the references was his plea to the public to come forward if they have any information about corrupt practices or individuals. It has become a habit in our society to accuse people of corruption without much substance. This attitude is quite prevalent among our politicians and when accusing others without proof tends to trivialize a very serious issue like corruption.
NAB has come under heavy fire in recent months over its role in Panama Papers case.
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