National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is an autonomous body that has recently been reinvigorated under the leadership of its chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal. The National Accountability Bureau is Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organization, and it is charged with the responsibility of elimination of corruption through a multi-pronged approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement. It operates under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.
NAB believes in accountability across the board, and its “Accountability for All” Policy has started yielding good results. Fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty, so much so that a monitoring system has been placed to monitor the performance of NAB officers on a regular basis as NAB strongly believes in self-accountability as well.
NAB’s main focus is on mega corruption cases, misuse of authority, money laundering and embezzlement of state funds, cases of cheating public, housing societies/cooperative societies, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults etc. NAB has recovered Rs. 297 billion of ill-gotten money from corrupt elements and deposited these in the national exchequer. This is a huge amount and shows the commitment of the organization.
An active accountability mechanism is essential for economic growth, investment, and a stable social order and here NAB has carried out its responsibility with aplomb. The independence of this organization is assured as only then can it play an effective role.
National Accountability Bureau has established its first state of the Art Forensic Science Lab in Rawalpindi which has facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis. It has introduced Combined Investigation Team (CIT) system in order to benefit from the collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers. This leads to good quality work and the complete impartiality of NAB.
NAB has carried out bilateral cooperation by signing MoU with China to oversee CPEC projects undertaken in Pakistan and cooperation in the fields of anti-corruption. Pakistan is committed to United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in eradicating corruption and in this NAB is leading the way. NAB is also the first Chairman of SAARC Anti-Corruption forum.
The impression that NAB has ever faced pressures to deal with the ruling regime with a soft approach is a groundless impression. Accusations by certain elements that government is using NAB to victimize the opposition are baseless. In fact cases with regards to opposition, leaders were launched well before the current government came to power. NAB is an independent institution, and this government does not interfere in its work as it believes in non-interference in the matters of state institutions.
Crime must be punished and rule of law upheld; in this regard if NAB has to take legal action then that is its prerogative. Criticism of NAB by certain elements cannot deter it from doing its work, and they (NAB authorities) believe in countering it with their performance. Hard work, dedication and perseverance are what are needed to move forward the process of accountability.
Speaking at a recent meeting of officials of NAB’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter Chairman NAB Mr. Iqbal said that taking cases of mega corruption to their logical conclusion was the prime priority of the bureau as survival of the country depended on eradication of corruption. “I assure all that no politics or revengeful activities are involved in the functioning of the bureau. If preparing cases is inevitable these would definitely be pursued and sent to the court concerned and it is the task of the court to convict or acquit a person,” he said.
National Accountability Bureau is not for victimization against anyone. It has no affiliation with any party as its officers are servants of the state. The people of Pakistan appreciate the hard work being done by NAB and support its efforts whole-heartedly.