ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal said on Monday that corruption references involving Malam Jabba Ski Resort and Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) were almost ready.

Addressing a ceremony in connection with the International Anti-Corruption Day here, Iqbal said that winds had started blowing from a different direction and people would see the results of this phenomenon soon. He said that people ask him questions about a lack of action on the BRT and Malam Jabba scams. “Let me make it clear that action will be taken as soon as the stay order is vacated,” he said.

He said that NAB respects all politicians and bureaucrats and its officials do not follow anyone’s directions or take political revenge on anyone’s behalf. He said that NAB would continue indiscriminate action against corruption without caring about the government or the opposition.

He said that NAB had no unholy alliance with the government against anyone and it made the opposition parties join hands to clip its powers. He said that NAB had set the goal of eradication of corruption from the society.

The NAB chairman said that corruption was an international problem, more in some countries and less in others. He said that no country could claim to be corruption free. He urged the parliament to play its role in lawmaking and implementation of the relevant laws.

NAB taking action against those who enjoyed power for 30 years

He said that people should not speculate about arrests in NAB cases. He said that NAB was taking action against those who enjoyed power for 30 to 35 years. He said the incumbent government was just 15 months old. He said he had no personal enmity with anyone. “As you sow, so shall you reap,” he said.

Iqbal said that NAB had recovered Rs382 billion from the corrupt and deposited in the national exchequer. The NAB has a role in recovering Rs39 billion from the UK. As many as 1,261 corruption cases worth Rs943 billion are pending in various accountability courts, he said. The NAB recovered Rs153 billion from the corrupt in 25 months.

He said the NAB respects politicians and bureaucrats, but it will raise questions if Rs50 million are spent on a Rs5,000 project, he said.

“The country lacks health facilities as no money was spent on public facilities. Some people laundered money and bought properties worth billions in Dubai and London. They get irritated when they are asked questions, he said.

He said that some people on the NAB radar hold hours-long press conferences and allege victimisation but they should focus on fighting their cases.

The credit of making Pakistan a state like the State of Madina goes to the incumbent government, he said. “The government should become a role model before making the country such a state. Discrimination should be ended and self-accountability should be initiated to materialise the dream,” he said.

He said that NAB had taken action against influential owners of housing societies and distributed the money recovered from them to the affected people.

Later, President Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan was passing through a defining phase where corrupt elements were being held accountable across the board. He said this is a new era in Pakistan as there is a realisation among people that the country was plundered over the last seventy years.

The president said that accountability was used for political victimisation in the past but now there was a hope that this process would move forward without any discrimination.

Appreciating performance of the NAB, he expressed the hope that the anti-graft body would fulfil its responsibility and educate people about fair accountability.