ISLAMABAD – Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, excused on Wednesday himself from appearing before a parliamentary committee over the recent probe launched against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on money-laundering charges, local media reported.
Iqbal informed the National Assembly’s standing committee for Law and Justice that he received the letter in the morning today and was unable to attend the meeting. He requested the committee to give him an appropriate time in this regard.
However, the committee has refused to accept the excuse and directed the NAB head to review his decision and sent all its correspondence on the matter to the National Assembly speaker.
Later, the committee accepted the excuse and summoned the NAB chief on May 22 (Friday).
The NA panel had ordered the anti-graft watchdog chief to appear before the body in person on Wednesday at 2:30pm after a new inquiry based on media reports was ordered against Sharif.
Iqbal was asked to appear before the committee along with the NAB official involved in the investigations.
The action by NA body came after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Rana Hayat raised the point of order in wake of the controversial probe.
Money Laundering Probe
On May 8, taking notice of a misleading newspaper article based on a ‘flawed’ report of the World Bank, the anti-corruption watchdog started verification whether Sharif was involved in sending $4.9 billion to India.
According to NAB, World Bank’s migration and remittance book released in September 2016 carried information that foreign exchange reserves of India increased by $4.9 billion after receiving the huge amount sent through money laundering, inflicting losses to Pakistan’s national kitty.
WB Rejects Reports
In a statement issued by the World Bank hours after the NAB’s announcement, it rejected that its Remittances and Migration Report of 2016 levelled $4.9 billion money-laundering accusations against the former premier.
“In the past day, there have been media reports citing the World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report of 2016. These media reports were incorrect,” read the press release.
“The World Bank’s Remittances and Migration Report is an effort by the World Bank to estimate migration and remittances numbers across the world. The report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals,” it added.