PESHAWAR - National Accountability Bureau Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has said if the accountability of corrupt people is a ‘crime’, he will continue to commit this ‘offence’.

“Eradication of the menace of corruption and taking legal action against corrupt elements is the top-most priority of the NAB because corruption is the main hurdle in the way of development and prosperity of the country. It is crystal clear that NAB is not against any individual; rather it will take action against any possible anomalies in the public sector,” he said, addressing a function of cheques distribution among the victims of Mudaraba and fraud investment schemes at the NAB regional office, Peshawar, Thursday.

Javed Iqbal rejected the allegations of former premier Nawaz Sharif against NAB and said: “If accountability of corrupt people is a crime, then it would continue to be committed.” Javed Iqbal said Nawaz Sharif has asked him either to furnish evidence for his alleged money laundering to India or tender resignation, Javed Iqbal questioned whether it was an offence to probe those allegedly involved in corrupt activities. He vowed unabated corruption would not go unchecked in the country. “Process of accountability is in the nation’s greater interest and I will continue it without bowing to any pressure,” he said. It is the watchdog’s primary duty to ask the guardians of the national exchequer where money was spent, Javed Iqbal said and added NAB does not have enmity with any specific individual. The anti-graft watchdog categorically dismissed allegations about alleged humiliation during NAB’s proceedings, he maintained.

He revealed NAB has recovered Rs 290 billion till date and deposited the money to the national exchequer, adding Rs 14 billion have been recovered by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa NAB. He made it clear that NAB has nothing to do with elections and vowed to continue its struggle against corrupt people.

He said legal action would be taken against the government officials as well as owners of cooperative housing societies involved in any scam.

He said fraudsters like “Double Shah” are present in every province and people have to be cautious and should confirm legal status of any society before investment. He advised the government officers to perform their duties honestly and protect people from fraudsters.

The NAB chairman said every government official should pay attention to good governance to eliminate corruption and encourage self-accountability. He said elimination of corruption is not responsibility of only NAB; rather all government officials and masses should play their role in this regard.

The NAB chairman said the country owes $84 billion in foreign debts, but the money was not spent apparently on public welfare, adding if the bureau questions anyone in this regard, he discharges his constitutional obligation.

Javed Iqbal said he had declared Thursday as public hearing day, adding he has received over 10,000 applications which are being examined on merit.

 

 

No enmity with any individual: NAB chief