Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – The federal government is considering to curtail powers of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) so that it could not lay hands on corrupt politicians.

Sources told Daily Pakistan that the government is considering a proposal for the formation of a commission under the supervision of a retired judge, while lawyers and retired officers will be member of the commission.

The NAB will be bound to get permission from this commission before arresting any political figure on corruption charges. The bureau will also have to produce evidence and other relevant details before the commission to justify the arrest, the sources added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also held consultations with his close aides to reign in NAB. On Tuesday, the premier expressed displeasure over the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s performance, adding that its officials needed to be held accountable.

 

PM Nawaz also ordered the NAB to perform its duties honestly and not to target innocent people.

According to Geo News, NAB has now set a March 31, 2016 deadline to decide the fate of corruption investigations against Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Two separate investigations are presently under progress against the prime minister. In one of the cases, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and others are alleged of misusing the authority in the construction of a road from Raiwind to Jati Umra, the residence of the Sharifs. The case is pending with the NAB since 2000, and involves the alleged misappropriation of Rs125 million.

In other cases, the prime minister is accused of making illegal appointments in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). This inquiry is pending against him since 1999. The NAB has set the deadline of March 31, 2016 to conclude the inquiry. It will either be disposed of or matured for prosecution.

These cases against the Sharifs were included by the NAB among cases of “mega corruption”, the list of which was presented by the Bureau before the Supreme Court of Pakistan last year.

 

Among the rulers, besides the Sharifs a case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was also shown in the list of mega corruption cases.

With this deadline, NAB will either decide to mature these cases for prosecution or give a clean chit to Sharifs in these inquiries, which were initiated almost 15 years ago during the Musharraf era but remained inconclusive.

The NAB had set a deadline of Dec 31, 2015 in the middle of last year for deciding the fate of these cases but the previous deadlines was not met and the director general concerned sought more time i.e. till March 31, 2016.

Like many others, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is said to be upset for the reason that these cases are pending with NAB for over a decade now but neither has been cleared nor any formal reference has been made against him.