Dr SJA Jafri
KARACHI/ISLAMABAD, Feb 3: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) observed that voluntary return of the embezzled money by public servants under the provisions of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) was increasing corruption and such officials should not be allowed to remain in service and on the other hand the NAB says that,
“the performance of the anti-corruption watchdog has improved and the success rate in trials has climbed to 70 percent” while NAB also claims that it has completed about 6,300 inquiries during last 16 years, of which 56 % were matured into formal investigation and more than 80 % investigations were taken into stage of prosecution in courts of law.
Out of 1,762 decided cases, the Bureau achieved conviction in 889 cases with 51 % conviction rate which speaks for itself.
A document while listing measures adopted by its present management and achievement made so far to eradicate corruption prime focus is on cases of cheating public at large by fraudulent financial companies, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults, misuse of authority and embezzlement of state funds by government servants etc.
NAB has received about 309,000 complaints from individuals and private/public organizations during last 16 years.
Corruption is mother of all evils which undermines development and also deprives people from their due rights, and considering these facts, NAB was established as Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organization which is assigned with responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement. The Chairman NAB after assumption of his duties had chalked out a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) as under NACS, the Bureau has adopted Zero Tolerance Policy and proactive approach to curb corruption and corrupt practices from the country.
In this connection a document said since NAB’s inception, one of its major achievements has been recovery of around Rs 275.4 billion of ill-gotten money which was deposited in national exchequer. The figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations are almost double as compared to same period.
The comparative figures for the latest two years are indicative of the hard work being put in by all ranks of NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty.
Increase in number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trusted in the NAB. However, internal conflicts between two groups of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officers have intensified to an alarming level, badly affecting the performance of the anti-corruption body as senior officials are busy in legal battles against each other in higher courts instead of preparing cases against criminals involved in massive corruption. Both groups have locked horns for expelling each other out of the bureau and they have even approached the Islamabad High Court in this regard. One group representing former military officers has challenged the appointment of four new directors general in NAB in the Islamabad High Court and the hearing of the case is scheduled for today.