ISLAMABAD -  National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhary started his farewell visits to regional offices after the prime minister and the opposition leader in the National Assembly held a consultative meeting for the appointment of a new chief of the bureau.

As part of the farewell visit, Chaudhry on Friday visited NAB Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), where he said that the bureau was committed to rooting out corruption and recovering the looted money by mobilizing all its resources.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah met on Wednesday in the Parliament House and discussed the appointment of the new NAB chairman. The three years tenure of the incumbent chairman ends on October 10.   The NAB chairman will also visit regional bureaus —Quetta, Karachi, and Lahore next week.

KP NAB Director General Brig Farooq Nasar Awan told the NAB chief that from 2014 to 2017, NAB KP received 3,775 complaints and all of them were disposed of as per law.

Of which, 126 inquiries, 51 investigations, and 38 corruption references were sent to the accountability courts. He said that the KP NAB recovered Rs12.4 billion and arrested 102 accused. He said that the overall conviction ratio of the KP NAB remained at about 72 percent. The NAB chief was told that the regional bureau was actively perusing the cause of elimination of corruption and corrupt practices through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention, and enforcement by adopting zero tolerance policy across the board.

The NAB chairman said that corruption was the mother of all evils. “The NAB is committed to eradicating corruption by using all its resources for a corruption-free Pakistan as the eradication of corruption is our national duty,” he said.

He said that corruption was one of the major factors that hampered the progress and prosperity of the country. “It creates injustice, poverty and destroys merit, depriving a deserving person of his or her due right. He said that corruption affects the country just like cancer. He said that corruption not only causes delays in the early completion of development projects but also causes huge losses to the national exchequer.

The NAB chief said that the increase in the number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trusted in the NAB.

The PILDAT report for the last year also endorsed that over 42 people trusted the NAB as compared to police (30 percent) and other government officials (29 percent). He said the recent report of Transparency International also ranked Pakistan in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 175 to 116 which was a great achievement for the country. The World Economic Forum in its report of 2016 said that Pakistan’s Corruption Perception Index has decreased from 126 to 122 which was a great achievement.

Chaudhry said that the NAB during the last three years recovered Rs50 billion and deposited in the national exchequer as no other anti-corruption agency in Pakistan has recovered such a huge amount in such a short span.

He said that the KP NAB was one of the important regional bureaus and appreciated its performance and directed the officials to arrest the wanted elements and absconders in line with the NAB’s enforcement policy.