National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s responsibility suddenly seems to be turned towards Punjab province of Pakistan alone. It is bewildering to assume that since Punjab has hundreds of projects in almost each district of the province, there may be possibly more corruption in each or some of the cases. Nonetheless, NAB seems totally driven by a dilemma that does not support the whole idea of accountability itself. It does not justify with the term accountability itself. What use is such accountability, when proper homework is not done, and the so called accused of corruption is held accountable. The questions asked by the accountability bureau to further investigate the case, just depict the idea that NAB may call anyone at any given time and ask questions (of course without properly probing into the matter).

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak has been accused of corruption from time and time again; even by the people of KPK. He was accused of corruption long before Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Why then, accountability suddenly just got limited to Punjab, and that also to the chief minister of the province. Talking about the Ashiana Housing Scheme, proper bidding process was carried out and then the project was awarded. NAB summoned the CM Punjab on January 22, 2017, with reference to “cancellation of award of contract of Ashiana-e-Iqbal to successful bidder Ch Latif and Sons, leading to award of contract to Lahore Casa Developers (JV), a proxy of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited”. When questioned on his NAB appearance on the 22nd, CM Shahbaz clarified that as per the record present with the CM Office, no directions were given to cancel the contract of Ch Latif and Sons. However, upon complaint of misprocurement, CM had ordered probe into the bidding process of the contract. In short, further inquiry found that the case was bigger than just misprocurement, the company was found guilty of forgery and cheating by the anti-corruption establishment.

Later in his presser too, CM Shahbaz mentioned that the nature of the contract cancelled with CH Latif and Sons had nothing to do with the contract awarded to Lahore Casa Developers and that it was the result of separate bidding process. However, both contracts were awarded to serve different purposes in the development process of the Ashiana Housing Scheme.

It is pertinent to mention here that the incumbent Punjab government is the pioneer of carrying out development projects using proper bidding processes. Past examples suggest how bidding processes were not carried out by the then Punjab governments. From past examples, a lot of cases with proven corruption were left to evaporate by the very same accountability bureau.

Not to forget, the same Chief Minister of Punjab is known for reversing and saving public money in the Chiniot Iron Ore Project when the mining release was fraudulently awarded to a close relative of a civilian aide of the then chief minister. CM Shahbaz, after becoming the chief minister in 2008, initiated legal proceedings to recover the plundered money. Shortly after, in 2010, the Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Mr Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, in his verdict, described the award of contract as "a heartless breach of public trust". After recovery of the project, Shahbaz Sharif himself took multiple presentations from globally recognised and credible experts to ensure quality and continuity of work.

A second notice has been served to CM Shahbaz Sharif over alleged corruption in Raiwind Road construction project. NAB seems set to hold the Punjab government accountable for more and more projects in near future. The question remains, who will nab Sindh, KPK and other provincial governments. The bias seems very clearly shifted towards the Punjab government alone, that also without proper investigation. Such accountability is not desired in a democracy.