ISLAMABAD – National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral Fasih Bukhari on Saturday cited ‘political meddling’ as the main reason behind the increasing corruption in state departments.

Speaking at a Waqt News programme, Apna Apna Girebaan, Bukhari said that after the judiciary, the bureaucracy should have to be freed from political involvement.

To a question, the NAB chief said they were holding inquiries against officials of the Interior Ministry for not putting the accused in the rental power case on the ECL.

Denying that any of the accused left the country, he argued that as the companies had the insurance, “it was not in country’s interest to put the blame on our own people.”

“We need to know how and why corruption is done.”

About the NICL scam, Bukhari said except military officials, they could investigate any civilian. He also said that during his recent meeting with Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani they agreed on the record exchange.

The NAB official, to another query, said Malik Riaz was not found guilty in two probes conducted against him over the sale of the title ‘Bahria’ to him. “Riaz had been working with the military for the past three decades.”

He, however, observed that the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Punjab, wanted to target the business magnet for political vendetta. “After a similar observation by the NAB DG, the case was taken up.”

He added that Rs 23 billion were recovered, and corruption of Rs 15 billion was prevented after his joining the Bureau. The NAB official also asserted that he was not responsible for the investigation into the SGS Cotecna case, contending that President Asif Zardari enjoyed constitutional immunity.