Will NAB come up to expectations ?


Need to go beyond targeting a government

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had gone into hibernation under its previous DG and thus lost the people’s confidence.  Justice (rtd) Javed Iqbal however  hit the ground running as the new DG NAB.  In January NAB took up Chiniot mineral resources misappropriation case which had been closed by his predecessor. Punjab chief secretary was directed to provide the record of Multan Metro Project and four of the 56 public limited companies established by the provincial government. The ruling party meanwhile had started having second thoughts about the appointment. There were reports of the government considering changing the NAB law to reduce its chief’s powers. It suddenly dawned on Punjab Chief Minister that NAB is a corruption ridden institution.

Fed up with the inefficiency of institutions like FIA ad FBR people have now started building expectations around the NAB. On Friday National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance decided to send to NAB the case of illegal investments of over $8 billion by Pakistanis in Dubai. The same day an Islamabad High Court bench directed the Bureau to proceed against Pervez Musharraf’s alleged corruption during his tenure as President. While NAB already has enough on its plate, more demands of the sort are likely to follow. The questions is whether the Bureau has the necessary expertise and resources to fulfill the expectations?

The JIT constituted to probe the Panamagate case managed to prepare a formidable dossier because it comprised experts drawn from a number key departments. Even then it might not have succeeded if the probe did not have the mandate of the SC or had not been conducted under the constant supervision of the apex court. Will NAB enjoy similar cooperation and support from important institutions while it probes the Dubai investments and Musharraf’s  corruption? As things stand Nawaz Sharif has refused to appear before NAB which is preparing two supplementary references against him and according to DG NAB several Punjab government departments are not cooperating with the Bureau. One expects the Bureau not to confine itself to probing just one administration but to take up mega cases of corruption irrespective of the identity, class or section of society the criminals belong to.


  1. I am a mere reader but have faith in the present DG and wish him all the best. He is doing far better than the previous DG, the convicted ex-Army Major and a political appointee ( by and for PML(N). He is taking out files of gross corruption cases against high profile politicians and corrupts, including ex-President and PMs. Will turn his guns towards Sind and other provinces, once get rid of corruption of the biggest Province even if meeting great resistance.

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