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NAB meeting ignores cases against Nawaz, Zardari

November 03, 2011

Fasih Bokhari at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on Monday, October 10, 2011.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The first meeting of the executive board of the National Accountability Bureau presided over by its Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari here on Wednesday did not take up corruption cases of President Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N President Nawaz Sharif, sources told Dawn on Thursday.

The meeting, which ended with a routine directive from the chairman that all pending cases should be pursued vigorously, did not discuss the money-laundering cases.

When contacted, a NAB spokesman neither confirmed nor denied that cases relating to President Zardari and Mr Sharif were discussed at the meeting.

A NAB official said on condition of anonymity that Mr Bokhari would not touch sensitive cases during these early days of his tenure to avoid controversies.

He said cases of Mr Sharif were also not being pursued by the Punjab NAB.

Another official said courts had barred NAB from pursuing cases against Nawaz Sharif.

“I think Mr Fasih Bokhari will not follow cases of Nawaz Sharif because if he does so he will also have to take up President Zardari’s cases,” said Tariq Mehmood, a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

He said the accountability was low on government’s and parliament’s priority. Otherwise they would have given importance to a petition filed by Senator Mohammad Ali Durrani in the Supreme Court with a request to “bring back $500 billion looted wealth of the country from offshore banks, especially Swiss banks”.

“Why the government does not make laws by incorporating UN recommendations about money-laundering and recovery of plundered wealth from abroad.

“Under such laws we can ask the Swiss government and its banks to return the looted wealth deposited in Swiss banks,” he said.

Meanwhile, a three-member European Union delegation called on the NAB chairman and exchanged views with him on financial management reforms in the country.

The main objective of the mission is to support the government in improving public financial management capacity.