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Inquiries, investigations initiated on allegations not final: NAB

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ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal presides over a meeting of the NAB’s executive board on Wednesday.
ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal presides over a meeting of the NAB’s executive board on Wednesday.

ISLAMABAD: In an apparent move to neutralise the government’s reaction to an inquiry ordered by the National Accountability Bureau against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly sending $4.9bn to India, the NAB’s executive board announced on Wednesday that all verifications, inquiries and investigations initiated on the basis of allegations were not final.

A meeting of the board presided over by NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal said that it would seek the point of view of all accused persons so that complaints, inquiries and investigations could be decided according to the law.

“It may be clarified that NAB authorises various complaint verifications, inquiries, investigations and filing of references against the accused on alleged involvement in corruption and causing multi-billion rupees losses to the national exchequer. The investigations are not final. NAB will now seek point of view of the accused to make the investigations, inquiries, complaint verifications as per law,” the official announcement said.

Anti-graft watchdog orders filing of five references, initiation of three investigations and seven inquiries

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice had summoned the NAB chairman on Wednesday to explain on what basis he had ordered an inquiry against Nawaz Sharif for allegedly sending $4.9bn to India, but he did not appear before it.

Earlier, NAB stuck to its decision of ordering inquiry against Mr Sharif on a “frivolous” report of the World Bank based on “assumptions”. However, the WB has itself clarified that neither any name nor any money laundering was mentioned in the report.

According to a NAB press release, Justice Javed Iqbal informed the board meeting that all complaints, inquiries and investigations would be concluded within 10 months on the basis of solid evidence. “NAB has stuck to its policy of accountability for all,” he added. Urging NAB officials to work with commitment and dedication, he said bureau’s first and last attachment was Pakistan.

Later, the NAB executive board ordered filing of five references and initiation of three investigations and seven inquiries.

It approved verification of complaint received against alleged wrongdoings in the National Highway Authority and its officials involvement in illegal allotment of toll plazas and leasing of its land for CNG filling stations in Rawalpindi.

The meeting authorised an inquiry against Haier Pakistan Private Limited and officers of the Higher Education Commission and others for selling laptops to the commission at higher rates.

The board ordered an inquiry against the management of National Transmission and Dispatch Company, its board of directors and others for appointing Fayyaz Chaudhry as NTDC managing director without con­s­idering his experience and ability.

It approved investigation against officers of the Capital Development Authority for alleged illegal allotment of land worth Rs2 billion in Sector E/11 Islamabad in violation of rules.

The board authorised filing of a reference against former vice chancellor of Federal Urdu University Dr Zafar Iqbal for opening illegal sub-campus of the varsity in Lahore.

The meeting ordered an inquiry against the managing director of the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan and officers of the ministry of industries and production. They are accused of abuse of authority, corruption and shifting amount from NFC accounts to private banks causing Rs3 billion losses to the national kitty.

It approved an inquiry against former chairman of Pakistan Railways Arif Azeem and other officials for purchasing 58 locomotives and 40 power vans from their favourite companies causing a loss of Rs20bn.

The board decided to file a reference against Secretary of the Karachi Port Trust Cooperative Housing Society Ghulab Khan and others for illegal allotment of commercial plots.

The board approved closing of an inquiry against officers and officials of the National Bank of Pakistan, Bahrain, for lack of solid proofs.

It ordered an inquiry against former managing director and directors of the Pakistan Petroleum Limited for devouring funds.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2018