ISLAMABAD, Oct 4: President Mamnoon Hussain urged on Friday newly trained investigators of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to help ensure rule of law in the country and not to get influenced by any other consideration.

He said NAB was mandated to carry out accountability and its officers were expected to discharge their duty with honesty and integrity.

Speaking at ‘graduation ceremony’ of 267 newly trained investigators, the president said the menace of corruption had destroyed the very fabric of human societies and undermined the value of work and dignity of human beings.

“To combat the menace of corruption, the role of investigators is critical and crucial. An investigating officer should be thoroughly impartial,” he remarked.

Mr Hussain pointed out that investigators were often blamed for delays and for leaving loopholes in cases.

He advised the young officers to continue to pursue excellence in their professional life. “The path the new officers have chosen will demand continuous hard work, commitment and high degree of determination,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, NAB’s Deputy Chairman retired Rear Admiral Saeed Ahmed Sargana said the bureau was pursuing the three-pronged policy of awareness, prevention and enforcement.

The NAB officers, he said, had undergone a seven-month rigorous training to handle issues relating to corruption and expressed the confidence that they would do their best to eradicate the menace from the country.

He also mentioned the media’s vibrant role in highlighting issues of corruption.

Rear Admiral Sargana said NAB was vigorously pursuing all cases initiated during the tenures of its previous chairmen. But fresh cases could not be started until a new chairman was appointed or the ordinance concerned was amended.

Talking to reporters after the ceremony, Rear Admiral Sargana said no decision had been taken about reopening of cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

“I cannot take a decision regarding opening of cases against the former president because it is solely the prerogative of the chairman,” he said.

Answering a question about the possibility of arrest of former premiers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf in the Rental Power Projects case, he said: “They cannot be arrested without the approval of the chairman.”

Farhatullah Babar, the spokesman for the former president, told Dawn that “if NAB reopens any case against Mr Zardari, PPP will face it.”