ISLAMABAD - NAB chairman Chaudhry Qamar Zaman stated on Thursday there was no pressure from the government or any other force regarding preparation of NAB references.

In an interview with The Nation, Zaman said the Bureau would not succumb to any sort of pressure. “NAB would not become a tool for achieving political goals. It would not be used to twist anyone’s arm for modifying political affiliations unlike past.”

But NAB chief made it clear that everyone who plundered national kitty would be brought to justice, no matter they belonged to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or any party in the opposition. “No one will be considered above law.” He added their first preference would be big fish who had time and again plundered the state kitty.

Zaman, to a question, said the process of clearance of pending cases and those being heard, was in progress. He said although NAB had a huge number of cases pending, 300 corruption scandals had been shortlisted that were under consideration now.

These cases would be investigated without any discrimination, added NAB chief. Zaman said when he met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the first time as NAB chief he made it clear to him that it was their last meeting being the prime minister and NAB chief. “After my appointment as NAB chief, I did not even get a phone call from the Prime Minister’s office.”

He however added the prime minister did ask him that no innocent should be penalized, but anyone found guilty would not go scot free.

NAB chief further said he was working independently. “The government does not want to interfere in the affairs of NAB.”

To a query, he said NAB would operate in an entirely different manner from what it used to. He said NAB would have a stronger grip about the big fish, and pressure from any quarters would not be accepted.

NAB chief, to another question, said he had always operated under the rules and regulations, and within constitutional ambit.

He said NAB would be made an effective institution and a policy was being evolved in this respect. He said the role of present-day NAB would be completely different from yesteryear’s NAB.

Zaman said there were a number of cases pending since many years and they would be taken care of in the first place preferably.

He said no government guidelines would be received which would give the impression that NAB was not involved in vendetta.

To another query, he said being the chairman he would leave positive traditions in NAB so that the whole nation could be proud of it.