The death of NAB assistant director, Kamran Faisal, who had been removed as the investigation officer of the RPPs case, has prompted other NAB assistant directors to go on a pen-down strike. Kamran Faisal was found dead in his Federal Lodges flat, and was declared to have committed suicide in the autopsy. However, the assistant directors appear to have reservations, and apart from demands for more security and dismissals of contact employees, there is a call for a joint investigative team headed by Tariq Saeed Khosa, a senior police officer. Instead, the government appointed Mr Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, who recently headed the commission that probed the Abbottabad raid, to head a judicial commission. If indeed there was no foul play involved, and the deceased committed suicide, there would still be serious questions about the pressures under which NAB officials work. This would be much more than the inevitable pressures of any investigation force, because NAB cases involve much money (proceeds of corruption) and at least some of the accused would have a high profile. The Prime Minister’s case is typical: the alleged offence dealt with the time he was a minister, but the time for arrest has come when he had become PM. If Kamran Faisal indeed committed suicide, it seems to have been because of job-related pressures. The other possibility is of course, much more sinister.

The demand for additional security is understandable, but the personnel of policing and quasi-policing agencies should realise that their security cannot be their organization’s top priority. Still, the complaint that senior officials did not attend Kamran’s funeral indicates the absence of the kind of integration needed in an organization fighting a crime that is not only deeply entrenched, but also not socially accepted.

While internal difficulties must be handled by the Nab, the present investigation must be pursued without fear or favour, and conducted to the satisfaction of the deceased’s colleagues. Kamran’s investigating colleagues better understand the difficulties they face, they will also not be fooled if the investigation is skimped or cursory. The very fact that the PM was involved in the case made it inevitable that anything happening to the officials concerned would cause wild suspicions to arise. He needs a fair investigation more than anyone else, to prevent any further damage to his reputation.