NAB fails to decide high-profile cases


By Ahmad Ahmadani

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has failed to announce final verdicts of several high-profile cases, including those against incumbent Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Documents available with Pakistan Today show that NAB failed to meet the deadline for sorting out cases against three ex-prime ministers, three chief ministers, one senator, and one former member National Assembly of the country. And, now NAB has extended the deadline for deciding such high-profile cases.

Earlier, NAB had announced November 15 as deadline for settling 53 out of 179 high-profile corruption cases, including those dealing with the misuse of authority, causing losses to the national exchequer and having property disproportionate to income sources. Moreover, the bureau so far has not decided the cases against incumbent Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former PM Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Raja Pervez Ashraf, CM Shahbaz Sharif, former CM Pervez Elahi, former Balochistan CM Nawab Aslam Raesani, Senator Sehar Kamran and former MNA Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Sources said that the NAB was expected to either file references in court against the accused or dispose off the cases. However, the bureau could not sort out even one of the above-mentioned cases within the deadline. They said NAB had been using delaying tactics due to political pressure. “Finding no other remedy, NAB has now extended the deadlines,” sources said. They added that NAB would announce a new deadline soon.

They said NAB had been investigating the cases against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif since 2000. “Due to pressure from the ruling elite, NAB failed to solve any of the high-profile cases,” sources said.

The sources said that a special committee of NAB had recommended closing the cases against Sharif brothers. The bureau had earlier closed down the inquiry against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. They said NAB could not find any “solid evidence” against the Sharif brothers.  “The PM and Punjab CM had been accused of misuse of authority in the construction of Raiwind Road, inductions in Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and causing a loss of Rs 120 million to the national kitty,” sources said. They further said that cases against special adviser to PM Haroon Akhtar, Chaudhry Shujat Hussain, Pervez Elahi were also likely to be disposed of.

NAB, on July 16, had disposed of a high profile money laundering case against the present finance minister senator Ishaq Dar due to unavailability of sufficient evidence.