KARACHI - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi has issued a list of 105 proclaimed offenders (Pos) and absconders as part of its campaign to arrest the maximum number of corrupt elements.

The list of offenders has been issued following the Sindh High Court (SHC) orders, legitimising NAB operations in the province and also seeking a list of parliamentarians facing corruption charges.

The list contains names of the absconders as well as proclaimed offenders, titles of references against them, their CNIC numbers, remarks, cities they belong to as well as their pictures.

Name of former administrator Karachi Saqib Soomro is also included in NAB’s list.

“The list of POs and absconders has been revised by including the names of those who are still at large besides their CNIC numbers, pictures and known residential addresses,” NAB DG Karachi said in a statement.

In this regard, the top accountability body has constituted teams which, it said, would take steps to ensure the arrest of maximum number of accused.

According to the communiqué, letters have been written to the authorities concerned for seeking their assistance under Section 27 of the NAB Ordinance 1999 for “causing the arrest of such accused persons and their production before the respective accountability courts.”

“Trials in several references filed in the accountability courts have been inordinately delayed due to non-production of various accused,” it said. “However the official figures reflect that over the period of last three years NAB Karachi has been successful in arresting 148 POs and absconders,” it added.

Furthermore, the list has also been shared with the immigration authorities to prevent them from fleeing abroad and to block their banking transactions respectively.

In July, while rejecting Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair’s dissenting note on NAB Ordinance 1999, Sindh Repeal Bill 2017, the Sindh cabinet had approved ‘Sindh Accountability Agency Bill 2017’ as a substitute for NAB Ordinance.

On August 13, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had warned that the provincial government would take action against NAB if it interfered in the affairs of its departments after the province’s own anti-graft law.

However on August 16, SHC allowed NAB to resume its work after a few lawmakers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf filed a petition in the court.

NAB has been under criticism by Pakistan People’s Party for only targeting the lawmakers of Sindh, particularly belonging to the PPP.

A close aide of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Dr Asim Hussain has faced corruption references pertaining to land fraud amounting to Rs9.5 billion; money laundering of Rs3 billion, and misuse of authority and criminal breach of trust through a fertiliser scam of Rs450 billion.

Besides Dr Asim, some other prominent personalities belonging to the PPP have been on NAB Karachi’s watchlist as in October 2016, NAB had filed before the administrative judge of an accountability court a reference against former provincial information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon and others for allegedly committing corruption in the award of advertisements of provincial government’s awareness campaigns in electronic media,

while former director general of the Karachi Building Control Authority, now Sindh Building Control Authority, Manzur Qadir’s name has also been on NAB’s watchlist.