ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to close the cases of four politicians including former Governor Punjab Ghulam Mustafa Khar and Munawar Ali Talpur, brother-in-law of former President Asif Ali Zardari.

These cases were initiated during the regime of former dictator General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf. Dozens of cases were initiated when the NAB formally started functioning in Musharraf’s initial days in power mainly with a view to make the politicians loyal to the dictator.

In the recent meeting of the executive board of the NAB, which was held on Thursday last, four cases of the politicians were closed. The accused in the cases included Ghulam Mustafa Khar, former governor and federal minister, Munawar Ali Talpur, brother-in-law of Zardari, Adil Siddiqui of MQM and Attique Rehman, ex-MPA from Narowal. The cases of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income against the accused were dropped due to lack of evidence.

When the incumbent Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry took charge of the NAB in October 2013, he constituted a high-level committee headed by Deputy Chairmen Admiral (Retd) Saeed Ahmed Sargana to decide the fate of old cases. In more than 10 meetings the committee finalised a total of 211 cases out of 300 very old cases tasked to it. To this effect, the committee has sent recommendations to the respective regions as well as the executive board of the NAB to dispose of the cases on merit.

On the other hand, the available data shows that the NAB has geared up its efforts to curb corruption for the last six months and has filed 45 references in the accountability courts, including some high-profile cases like OGRA, RPPs, Pakistan Steel Mills, Modaraba and KP police weapon purchase scandals.

Sources close to the development informed this scribe that these cases include the names of many big fish including two former prime ministers Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, Shaukat Tareen, former chairman OGRA Tauqeer Sadiq and others.

The NAB during this period has also authorised more than 40 new investigations and 60 inquiries while 60 major cases have been finalised or closed.

While talking to this scribe, a senior NAB officer said that the bureau is not discriminating between the influential and non-influential persons and whenever investigation against any person completes, the reference is approved in the executive board meeting and filed in the accountability court.