ISLAMABAD – National Accountability Bureau chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari on Tuesday appeared before a four-member ministerial committee formed to look into the startling levels of corruption in the Pakistan government a recently-published Transparency International report revealed. Sources privy to the meeting informed The Nation that the NAB chairman explained to the committee his viewpoint on rampant illegalities in the functioning of the public sector departments across the country. Besides Fasih Bokhari, Federal Investigation Agency Director General Anwar Virk also appeared before the committee that met under the chair of Law Minister Farooq H Naek. The committee members – Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah and Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh – were critical of the issuance of a press release by the NAB, close on the heels of a Federal Cabinet meeting, validating the corruption charges levelled against the government in the Transparency International report. The NAB chief clarified that the bureau had given a routine press release; however, it coincided with the Cabinet reaction to the Transparency International report, and made clear that all what had happened was unintentional. To committee queries, Bokhari, while giving a detailed insight into rampant corruption in the public sector departments, pointed to the faulty and corrupt system of awarding contracts of billions of rupees under the various heads. The sources said the NAB chairman proposed to the committee the government focussed on prevention of corrupt practices. He was of the view that by employing preventive steps, corruption and corrupt practices could be contained to a great extent in a short span of time.The sources said that both the NAB chairman and FIA DG gave briefings on the subject for containing the social evil and would also present a detailed report on procedural changes to help plug the pilferage of public money.The sources further said the NAB chief also submitted to the ministerial body the details of his department’s performance of the past one and a half years, wherein it had taken up as many as 173 cases of corruption totalling to Rs1.5 trillion. “Most of these cases were related to departments and corporations working under the federal government,” the sources added. The ministerial committee meanwhile instructed both the NAB and FIA chiefs to come up with suggestions and proposals to uproot the menace of corruption from society. It would meet again in a day or so to examine the briefings and material provided to it by the ace departments dealing with corruption-related cases.