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—File Photo.
—File Photo.

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government is considering bringing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) under the Prime Minister’s Office from the law ministry, inside sources told Dawn on Tuesday.

A special cell has been formed in the PM Office headed by Joint Secretary Saleh Farooqui, who has recently been transferred from Punjab to the centre.

The purpose behind the move has not been specified, but it is believed that cases against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, which are being pursued by NAB in accountability courts, may have prompted the government to bring NAB under the administrative control of the PM Office.

A senior official of the PM Office expressed ignorance about any such move and said he could give an official version by Wednesday. He, however, confirmed that Punjab government official Saleh Farooqui had recently been appointed in the PM Office as a joint secretary.

Before being removed by the Supreme Court as chairman of NAB on May 28, retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari had requested an accountability court to reopen pending cases against the Sharif brothers.

At that time a NAB spokesman had said: “On the recommendation of a special committee, the NAB chairman has signed an application requesting the accountability court to reopen three references against the Sharif brothers to contest a quashing petition which was filed by them in the Lahore High Court in Oct, 2011.”

The three cases are Hudaibiya Paper Mills, Assets Beyond Known Sources of Income and the Ittefaq Foundry (Wilful Loan Default).

Proceedings in the cases were adjourned sine die by the accountability court in 2001 when the Sharif brothers were in exile.

After their return to the country, NAB filed an application in 2007 for reopening the cases. The application was accepted, but in 2010 the cases were adjourned sine die by the accountability court. It observed that the trial could commence if an application signed by the NAB chairman was submitted before the court.

Sources in NAB said a 15-man team of investigators had been formed by Admiral Bokhari to investigate cases relating to Rental Power Projects (RPPs), Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills and the cases against the Sharif brothers.

In a briefing to caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Admiral Bokhari had suggested that NAB be brought under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet Division from the law ministry.When NAB was established in 1999 it worked directly under the then president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf. It was put under the law ministry in 2009.

Ehtesab Bureau, the old version of NAB, was established in 1997 by Nawaz Sharif during his second stint as prime minister. It worked for two years.

Since the removal of Admiral Bokhari by the apex court, NAB has become dormant as no major decision has been taken.

During hearing of a case on Tuesday, the Supreme Court directed the government to immediately appoint a new chairman for NAB. This would require ‘meaningful’ consultations between the prime minister and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah.

Comments (25) Closed

Iqbal khan Jun 26, 2013 07:41am

Now you are talking Mr Prime Minister.

shawn Jun 26, 2013 08:20am

nice going Mr. Prime minister in next coming days you will proof you are more corrupt then your predecessors.

nahil Jun 26, 2013 08:31am

Now what is the difference between Zardari and Nawaz?

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Jun 26, 2013 09:02am

A leopard does not change its spots. While the Sharif brothers require transparent accountability for others they do not wish the same for themselves. May Allah have mercy on the ordinary citizens of Pakistan.

Sam Jun 26, 2013 09:02am

Welcome to the other form of dictatorship

muhammad farooq Jun 26, 2013 09:10am

so nothing has changed and no surprises, NAB has always catered to the needs of the party in power.

aslam minhas Jun 26, 2013 09:13am

Bad move! I hope opposition leader will never agree to it. If there are cases agains NS and SS, they must face it and come clear. Otherwise NAB will remain a joke and a tool in the hands of the govt to pressurise the opposition. I trust sanity prevails and NAB remains an independent institution.

Dilawer Jun 26, 2013 09:40am

Nothing changes after election day....

180 Million Dead Jun 26, 2013 10:04am

Ameer ul Momineen can do whatever he thinks is in the best interest of the riya!

muzammil ullah khan Jun 26, 2013 10:17am

So what else is new . Nawaz is trying to save his posterior ! This is Pakistan ! Might is right but only temporarily ! Remember the last time Nawaz had 2/3rd majority but when he was kicked out there was jubilation all round . This can happen again but this time it is going to be terrible . I shudder to think .

SM Jun 26, 2013 11:22am

Great, so that no one will be able to challenge the PM and his cronies. He is corrupt as hell; Sethi as PCB chairman (!), messing with the army when he himself was equally responsible for the 1999 mess, protecting the rich businessmen and punishing the middle class, establishing his kingdom, wasting funds on useless schemes... This is unbelievable.

Blitzer Jun 26, 2013 11:34am

The Sharifs are back in business. All they need to do now is remove any oversight, checks and balances from the government and they can continue to make their billion dollar Sharif & Family private limited enterprise a multi-billion dollar company.

Ahmed bin Babar Jun 26, 2013 12:09pm

Bad idea.

Austin Jun 26, 2013 02:40pm

People get the governments they deserve .Good news is security and safety has been taken care of now let's fix nab LOL.

Shahbaz Jun 26, 2013 02:49pm

This shows the mind set of a majority in Pakistan (not just the rulers) where we demand fairness and accountability for other but not willing to be answerable for our own actions...

ailly Jun 26, 2013 03:06pm

So, PMLN has planned to focus on other irrelevant issues, which may be of interest for media to sell it as product but core issues are still lying in the files ( load-shedding and drones plus unemployment ).

So where's the manifest / mandate which these U-TURN prone leaders were putting above mentioned issues on priority in their election campaigns ???????. what happened with all hysterical hype which this party created just months back. Where's there visioned, far sighted policies on such issues. Merely stating they WILL do this, WILL do that, WILL look into, WILL change..... when this ' WILL ' segment will not be seen in their statements. What are the results ?.

PMLn is just concentrating on settling their old cases, references against their leadership ( or dealership enterprise ). PMLN vs JUDICIARY is going to be their next battle-field. No resolve for load-shedding, drones and unemployment in pipeline, just statements and time-buying methods being played around. Who will remind them about their promises ? Media or a common man on streets who is struggling to find ways and means to bring home bread for his family at then end of the day. How long we will remain fiddles and dormant, just being used at voters to bring them in power where they make money in taxes, statement, public appearances and rotten-minded old age schemes which had not only failed repeatedly but brought us on the brink of being called a "failed state".

God help those who help themselves.

Waqas RaZA Jun 26, 2013 03:21pm

...and hence I see no conflict of interest there.

MSA Jun 26, 2013 04:01pm

Sharif brothers have started strengthening their fort.

Em Moosa Jun 26, 2013 05:06pm

Same old tactics. Who claims he has changed?

javed Akhter Jun 26, 2013 05:48pm

You are a Nab suspect yourself. By becoming its in charge , what chance is there that you will not influence the cases open against yourself.

Syed Hasan Sajjad Jun 26, 2013 06:21pm

@nahil: Zardari is more intelligent than Nawaz.

Syed Hasan Sajjad Jun 26, 2013 06:26pm

He has full backing of Sharif Courts who immediately grant him Stay Orders.

Nizamuddin Ahmad Jun 26, 2013 07:06pm

A new dictator in making. Mr. Prime Minister, there is a life after your term. What if Musharaf becomes P.M.

Syed Ahmed Jun 26, 2013 07:09pm

One can expect any silly thing from these corrupt politicians, aimed to save their skin. Signals so far shows that the present government will be equally worse then out going government.
A fool and his money are soon elected

renegade Jun 27, 2013 12:58am

"The most corrupt and culprit brothers are back with the bang" all I have to say is "GOD BLESS PAKISTAN".