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Under-fire NAB issues incomplete progress report

Updated September 23, 2018


ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has come in for flak over the release of the Sharif family in the London properties reference, on Saturday issued an incomplete performance report, apparently in an attempt to deflect criticism.

The anti-graft body came under criticism from supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) claiming that a weak prosecution had led to the suspension of the sentence awarded to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar in the London properties reference.

NAB issued its 11-month progress report highlighting its achievements. A NAB spokesman admitted that this was not a proper report but some statistics had been shared with the media as per routine.

Over 470 people were picked up since Oct 11, 2017 and a total of Rs2.41 billion was recovered

The recent statistics, however, are contrary to the bureau’s routine progress reports that are issued on a quarterly and annual basis. It also does not contain the detailed analysis of the progress of NAB for the last 11 months.

As per the statistics, NAB arrested 476 persons since Oct 11, 2017, filed 340 references including plea bargain in different accountability courts across the country, and courts convicted 72 persons in the last 11 months.

During these 11 months, the bureau recovered Rs2.41 billion. NAB’s statistics without giving any comparison of conviction and acquittal claim that the conviction rate remained 77 per cent during this period.

However as per the quarterly report uploaded on its official website, the conviction rate during the first half starting from Jan 1 to June 30, 2018, was just above 50pc. According to the report, NAB’s prosecution filed 94 cases since January. The accountability courts decided 78 cases, in which conviction was announced in 40 cases while the accused were acquitted in 23 cases and 12 cases were merged with other references.

The report adds that 1,194 references were filed by NAB were pending in the accountability courts.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2018