National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was created to curb corruption but unfortunately it has ended up encouraging corruption, through the option of plea bargain. As per cleverly crafted rules, a fair percentage of money obtained from the corrupt, through plea bargain, is distributed amongst NAB personnel. This encourages those NAB personnel interrogating, as well as the corrupt to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement, whereby a small amount of the looted money is returned and the criminals are set free to enjoy the remainder of the looted wealth without the stigma of conviction. Because of this share in the looted wealth, NAB has become a very popular organisation which serves both government and non government officials to enjoy their ill gains.

Those serving in NAB argue that plea bargain enables the state to recover at least some of the looted money, which would not have been possible, due to insufficient evidence. This argument is not valid as criminals would not return any money, if there was no evidence against them, but more important to discourage corruption, it would be better if very little or no money is recovered but the individual spends time in jail. The option of plea bargain should therefore be done away with and NAB should be provided a budget from the government and terms and conditions of the personnel should be similar to other government departments.


Islamabad, February 25.