ISLAMABAD: The National Ac­­coun­tability Bureau (NAB) issued a press release on Monday to defend its decision regarding closure of a corruption case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

According to the press release, a case against the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) was also closed on the day Ishaq Dar was given a clean chit in his case.

Curiously enough, the bureau had not mentioned the PTI case in its press release issued on Friday after a meeting of its executive board.

And Monday’s statement did not explain the nature of the case against the minister.

“Apropos statement of PTI chief Imran Khan, carried by a section of media regarding NAB closing investigation against Mr Ishaq Dar. NAB wishes to assert that the said investigation, pending for more than 15 years, was conducted strictly in accordance with law and procedure,” the spokesman said.

On Sunday, Imran Khan had slammed the bureau for clearing Senator Ishaq Dar’s name in a money laundering case and appealed to the Chief Justice to “intervene and control NAB”.

“If NAB and other offices had been doing their job today, money laundering would have stopped completely. NAB has badly failed to fulfil its job. Initially, NAB included Mr Dar’s name in 179 cases of corruption and submitted the list to the Supreme Court,” he said.

The NAB spokesman, while criticising Imran Khan, said that during the meeting on Friday, NAB withdrew some cases, including one related to Ishaq Dar and one against the PTI.

The bureau usually does not use such strong language in its press releases as it did in Monday’s statement about the Tehrik-i-Insaf chairman. “It is a matter of record that in the same meeting, NAB closed an inquiry against Mr Tariq Shafi, referred by the financial monitoring unit of the State Bank of Pakistan, for suspect transactions. The objective inquiry revealed that these funds, Rs56.29 million, were received from Mr Arif Naqvi, CEO of Dubai’s Abraaj Group, and were subsequently passed on to Tehrik-i-Insaf as donations,” the NAB statement said.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2016