An accountability court in Peshawar on Monday acquitted former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General (IG) Malik Naveed and three Frontier Constabulary (FC) officials in an illegal recruitment case. It had been alleged that Malik Naveed made millions, misusing his powers while recruiting hundreds of soldiers into the Frontier Constabulary. He was also accused of making millions in an arms purchase deal worth Rs6 billion which was struck with a Chinese firm during his tenure. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had registered a reference against Malik Naveed, but had failed to prove he was guilty. The accountability court released Malik Naveed, Ghaniur Rehman, Mohammad Shoaib and Hamid Hassan after declaring them innocent. Speaking to the media, Malik Naveed said the law enforcement agencies should be given operational flexibility; otherwise their morale would be greatly affected. Malik Naveed had earlier admitted that he had relaxed recruitment rules and procedure. Hundreds of soldiers were recruited to curb militancy in Swat. At the same time arms were also purchased to counter the rising trend of militancy in the province. When 50 to 60 per cent of FC soldiers deserted us in Buner and Swat after the Taliban (launched an) offensive and when 22 FC soldiers were killed in a (single) day and police stations were set on fire by militants, we were faced with a very difficult and challenging situation, he said while defending his decision to recruit soldiers in violation of rules. I was left with no option, he added.