KARACHI    -      National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday said that the NAB was neither carrying out political witch-hunt nor it was linked with any government.

He was addressing an event held by NAB Karachi to distribute allotment orders, cheques ad awards at NAB Sindh headquarters in Karachi. NAB has recovered Rs four billion during a short span of time from Sindh province, the chairman claimed.

The NAB chairman said that it may be possible that at some time the accountability watchdog could be lenient in dealing with the wrongdoings but it never made a deal with anyone.

He said that they had recovered four billion rupees in past months only from the Sindh province and there was no other institution that could recover such a huge amount in short span of time.

“We are handing provincial government this amount and hope it would be used for serving masses,” he added.

He rejected the notion that NAB actions were aimed at political victimisation and said that it was only meant for the betterment of the people of the country. “We do not have any link with the government and I will once again reiterate that governments change but it is the country that will remain forever,” he said and hoped that their efforts would be helpful in making Pakistan a corruption free state. He, however, said that the accountability watchdog alone could do nothing and there was need of change among masses who should neither indulge in corrupt practices nor tolerate it. “If self accountability begins then there will be no need of an institution like NAB,” he said.

Speaking regarding NAB officials, the chairman admitted that there was a need of improvement and they had taken action against some NAB officials over wrongdoings. “We will not tolerate any wrongdoing within NAB as one could never take action against others if its own house in not in order,” he said and added that a hefty increase was also made in NAB employees salaries.

Javed Iqbal said that NAB was a people-friendly institution and anybody could meet NAB officials including chairman NAB. He further asked NAB officials to serve masses.

“We tried our best to recover the amount looted from masses and were successful in doing so,” he said.

He said that every Pakistani has a right to have his home but there are some people who call themselves as businessman but I’ll call them mafia as they fooled and looted innocent people in the name of housing schemes.

He also asked the Karachiites to not be fooled from attractive housing schemes advertisements and should enquire regarding the land record and construction permits of it before purchasing.

He also asked the provincial government departments to cooperate with masses during their enquiries.

We have never harassed builders and societies working as per rules but no person how much powerful he considers himself could skip accountability process,” he said. Meanwhile, the Chairman NAB chaired a meeting to review performance of NAB Karachi during his visit NAB Karachi.

DG NAB Karachi Brig (r) Farooq Naser Awan briefed the chairman that the Karachi chapter filed corruption references against Dr Asim, Sharjeel Inam Memon, Agha Siraj Durani and Kamran Micheal, which are under trial in respected Accountability Courts at Karachi.

DG NAB informed that NAB Karachi from Oct 2018 to Oct 2019 received 9887 complaint and accordingly 346 corruption cases were verified and approved. The Chairman was also apprised that during his tenure of one year NAB (K) had completed 208 inquiries, 93 Investigation and 65 references. Beside this NAB (K) recovered Rs. 3413.22 Million through Plea Bargain and Rs. 702.19 Billion through in-direct recovery in kind. The overall conviction rate of NAB Karachi is about 84%.

He further informed that NAB (K) is complying with the SOPs and Chairman directions and has perfected its procedures and has rejuvenated after taking new initiatives. In order to rationalize the workload, timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal according to SOPs. Chairman NAB appreciated the performance of NAB’s Karachi chapter and urged for conducting probe into white collar corruption cases on scientific basis.