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NAB chief unhappy over PM’s claim about low conviction rate

Updated December 07, 2018


Retired Justice Iqbal assails government for withholding funds. — File photo
Retired Justice Iqbal assails government for withholding funds. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has refuted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim that the conviction rate of NAB is seven per cent.

Speaking at a function organised by the Rawalpindi NAB on Thursday, he said: “A few days ago NAB was criticised that its conviction rate is 7pc. I do not know why he [PM] skipped a zero [at the end], because the actual conviction rate of NAB is above 70pc. I am saying it with conviction.”

Presenting his government’s performance during its first 100 days last week, PM Khan had said that the conviction rate of NAB was 7pc, while in Malaysia it is 90pc.

Retired Justice Iqbal assails government for withholding funds

Retired Justice Iqbal criticised the government for not releasing outstanding funds of NAB, putting the organisation under a severe financial crunch.

“No matter if you criticise me, I will not respond, but if you criticise NAB without any reason I will not sit idle and being the head of the organisation I will come up to defend it,” retired Justice Iqbal asserted.

He said a very limited budget was given to NAB and as a result of that hardship allowance and hiring facilities were very low in the organisation.

Referring to the recent rejection of NAB’s demand regarding release of Rs1 billion fund, the NAB chief said: “When an action is taken against any government functionary, NAB allowance is stopped or its budget is cut, but these tactics will not stop the caravan of NAB.”

He said NAB would bear the hardships but would not compromise on its principle of across-the-board accountability. “All those in the government or in the opposition who committed corruption and caused losses to the country will be accountable to Almighty Allah, NAB and courts of the country,” he said.

PM’s adviser on media Iftikhar Durrani said at a press conference on Thursday that there was a room for improvement in NAB. He said there was a decision of the Balochistan High Court that no additional fund should be given to NAB.

Dawn has learnt that the government has refused to release Rs1bn funds demanded by NAB under the Recovery and Reward Fund.

According to the bureau, the government has to pay Rs1.6bn to NAB as its 2pc share in the recoveries in bank default cases.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2018