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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday assured National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chief retired Justice Javed Iqbal of his government’s support for the watchdog’s work of ridding the country of corruption.

During a meeting with the NAB chief at the Prime Minister House, Mr Khan pledged to eliminate corruption and promote transparency.

“Elimination of corruption, promotion of transparency and impartial accountability of corrupt elements are top priorities of the government,” the prime minister said.

“The government is committed to providing complete support to strengthen NAB and improve its performance,” he said.

Mr Khan expressed satisfaction over the performance of NAB, which he had criticised before coming to power.

The NAB chairman congratulated Mr Khan on assuming the office of prime minister.

Several PTI leaders, including Aleem Khan, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Jahangir Tarin and Zulfiqar Bukhari, are still facing NAB cases.

Before becoming prime minister and forming the government, Mr Khan used to express dissatisfaction at NAB’s performance.

On July 17 this year, the PTI chief had criticised the anti-graft watchdog for giving a clean chit to former finance minister Ishaq Dar in a money-laundering case and appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to intervene in the matter and control NAB.

He had also criticised a NAB decision that the bureau could not arrest election candidates till July 25 general elections.

On Aug 27, he had expressed lack of trust in NAB after an accountability court acquitted former president Asif Ali Zardari in a corruption case.

“Zardari’s acquittal is the result of a deal between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party,” Mr Khan had claimed while addressing a press conference in Lahore’s Garden Town.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2018