Five more seek relief in graft cases

Updated February 21, 2020


No resentment in NAB over suspects’ applications for relief, says spokesman. — Creative commons/ File
No resentment in NAB over suspects’ applications for relief, says spokesman. — Creative commons/ File

ISLAMABAD: Five more persons facing corruption cases initiated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed applications in a court seeking disposal of their cases under recently-promulgated NAB (Amendment) Ordinance 2019.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the bureau claimed that “there has been no resentment in NAB over filing of applications by the accused seeking relief in their cases and the bureau is pursuing these cases vehemently”.

The five accused who have filed applications in the accountability court of Islamabad are: Haroon Rasheed, Noorul Afreen Zubairi, Ghulam Mustafa, Raza Amjad and Abdul Majid Khan. The references against them were filed by NAB two years ago.

More than 100 accused persons have already applied for disposal of their cases made by NAB under the ordinance promulgated by President Dr Arif Alvi in December last year making some significant changes in the 20-year-old NAB laws to give maximum protection to the bureaucracy and business people.

No resentment in NAB over suspects’ applications for relief, says spokesman

The National Account­ability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 has been amended in view of frequent complaints that government officers have refused to sign official files due to scare created by NAB. Similarly, businessmen have also complained that due to NAB’s undue actions, businessmen and industrialists have suffered a lot and are reluctant to make any investment or take new initiatives.

NAB clarification

The NAB spokesman claimed that there was no resentment in the anti-graft watchdog over filing of the applications as the bureau had filed references against accused persons on “solid grounds”.

“It is a responsibility of NAB’s investigators and prosecutors to vehemently pursue under trial cases,” he added.

The spokesman said NAB always believed in discharging of duty in accordance with the constitution and law. “NAB prosecutors and investigators have been directed to pursue all corruption references in more efficient manner with full preparation and solid evidences,” the spokesman said.

Inquiry ordered

NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal on Thursday ordered an inquiry against an impersonator who had made a telephone call to former federal minister Riaz Pirzada while posing as the NAB chairman.

According to the spokesman, the NAB chairman has taken notice of media reports that an impersonator was tarnishing the image of the bureau besides demanding extortion money from government officials and private persons.

The NAB chief was of the opinion that such impersonators should be dealt with iron hands.

The spokesman said on the directives of NAB chairman, the anti-graft watchdog had earlier arrested nine impersonators and handed them over to police for being involved in cheating people by posing as NAB officers.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2020