NAB seriously needs to be overhauled!

Iftikhar Shah Bukhari 05:10 PM | 31 Jan, 2017
NAB seriously needs to be overhauled!
To run a democracy smoothly, its leaders must hold themselves and the public responsible for their actions. Processes are required to discipline the general population and the government officials if they infringe the laws on the statute books.

Accountability laws should be twofold: horizontal (state institutions hold checks and balances on each other) and vertical (the population oversees the actions of the government). All the potential offenders must know consequences, civil and criminal penalties of willful lawbreaking so that they might be deterred from trespassing. Without a system to check the tendency to break the law, crimes cannot be reduced and people will continue to wreak havoc with impunity. To fight corruption within the upper echelons, the US created an independent body Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 1921.

We in Pakistan stand in greater need of an accountability office as we have been seeing allegations of corruption and bribery among high-ranking government officials. To meet the same requirement, President Pervez Musharraf set up the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in 1999. It was meant to probe allegations of corruption against former officials and to ensure that the corrupt officials who commit fraud and indulge in embezzlement are brought to book.

However, this investigating and prosecuting body was doomed to failure from the start. Pervez Musharraf was blamed for a witch-hunt and pressurising opponents to switch their loyalty through NAB officials. Since its creation successive ruling parties have used this body to blackmail opposition parties. But never was the so-called anti-corruption body authorised to haul up a premier or another top bureaucrat before it. Allegedly, at least a dozen cases of fraud and exploitation against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are lying dormant with the NAB. So the accountability of fraudulent characters has become nothing more than a sham.

Though this administrative department of the state has always been patently flawed, it suddenly drew the ire of the national media on its handling of the case of Mushtaq Raisani, the finance secretary of Balochistan, in May last year. The NAB seized over Rs730 million from his house; the man was accused of embezzling billions of rupees from local government development funds. However, the bureau accepted the influential bureaucrat’s plea bargain request for returning Rs2 million. The political class has been slamming the body for striking a deal with the first high-profile arrest made during the incumbent government’s tenure. They blamed the NAB for fuelling and facilitating corruption in the country.

As the media went on flashing the story of the mega scandal of corruption, the Supreme Court took suo moto notice in October. The apex court bench expressed its regret at the sorry state of affairs: a person accused of corruption worth billions of rupees is released on voluntarily returning a small amount of illicit gains, whereas someone guilty of embezzlement on a much smaller scale is put in prison. The head of the NAB was ordered to explain his position on allowing an offender found guilty of massive corruption to go off after voluntary return (VR) of a part of the ill-gotten money. Also, the court stopped the NAB from exercising such powers in the future. Even the politicians from the ruling camp have been slating the policy of voluntary return of the misappropriated public funds.

As regards the workings of the NAB, the public is faithless; they do not have any faith left in the accountability bureau. To restore their confidence and eliminate the culture of corruption, the government must take remedial action by closing the glaring loopholes in the law. The special powers of the NAB to pardon those guilty of money-laundering should be scrapped. It should become an independent body with no influence from the political parties as it may never conduct a free and fair inquiry and dispense justice when a case is filed against the incumbents. The apex court, not the prime minister, should be authorised to appoint the chief of the NAB. Also, the SC should carry out a review of the accountability laws.

(The article has been co-authored by Muhammad Hanif who is a lecturer of English at Minhaj University Lahore)

Iftikhar Shah Bukhari

The writer is a lecturer of political science at Minhaj University Lahore


Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal rates on April 01, 2023

KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on April 01 , 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.6 286.65
Euro EUR 308 311
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 354
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.2 77.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 75.5 76.5
Australian Dollar AUD 187.5 189.9
Bahrain Dinar BHD 754.25 762.25
Canadian Dollar CAD 206.5 208.7
China Yuan CNY 41.16 41.56
Danish Krone DKK 41.49 41.89
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.11 36.46
Indian Rupee INR 3.45 3.56
Japanese Yen JPY 2.25 2.3
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 924.86 933.86
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 64.14 64.73
New Zealand Dollar NZD 176.37 178.38
Norwegians Krone NOK 27.16 27.46
Omani Riyal OMR 736.57 144.51
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR


Singapore Dollar SGD 209.5 211.5
Swedish Korona SEK 27.35 27.65
Swiss Franc CHF 310.26


Thai Bhat THB 8.29 8.44

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – 01 April 2023

KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 209,000 on Saturday.The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs179,190.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Karachi PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Islamabad PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Peshawar PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Quetta PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Sialkot PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Attock PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Gujranwala PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Jehlum PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Multan PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Bahawalpur PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Gujrat PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Nawabshah PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Chakwal PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Hyderabad PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Nowshehra PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Sargodha PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Faisalabad PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525
Mirpur PKR 209,000 PKR 2,525


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