Specter of corruption and NAB
Allegations levelled against The National Accountability Bureau by late Asad Munir have prompted Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa to take his first suo motu as top judge of the country.
The apex court under Khosa is expected to focus more on removal of backlog of cases than put fear of God in unscrupulous elements through judicial activism.
But unfortunate suicide of Asad Munir, a former intelligence officer and Member State of Capital Development Authority (CDA), and the letter he addressed to the chief justice left no option for the top court.
Family members verified the authenticity of the letter which was nothing less than a charge -sheet against the NAB which forced an honorable man to commit suicide after being repeatedly intimidated and pressured by the bureau’s officers.
The NAB is now said to have issued a notice to Dr Umar Saif, an MIT graduate and the man behind digitization of Punjab, alleging irregularities in Punjab Information Technology Board.
NAB chief should make sure that Umar is treated like an honorable citizen. No foreign qualified and competent person in his right mind would think of serving the country again if the anti-corruption watchdog mishandles the inquiry involving Dr Umar Saif
NAB chairman should walk the talk and keep the process of accountability transparent.
The NAB chairman interacted with officers during his visit to KPK NAB and Civil Secretariat where he rejected complaints coming from bureaucracy.
He said out of total 1435 references there are more than a dozen were registered against bureaucrats who are facing the inquires but his department has summoned them only once or twice during the course of investigation.
Javed Iqbal said NAB and bureaucracy belong to Pakistan and they are not affiliated with any group, class, government or political party.
He said every officer should make decisions in country’s interest.
The NAB chairman should keep in mind that the NAB has created so many controversies that people see it as a tool to pressure political opponents.
He said bureaucracy should not bow to political pressure and announced that he himself would oversee the matters involving serving retired bureaucrats.
The NAB chairman’s remarks came just days after he was criticized for his decision to personally look into the suicide of Asad Munir who accused Justice Javed Iqbal’s department of humiliating him.
Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal is not known for any work that has earned him public praise despite being appointed to coveted posts and tasked with issues of national importance during his long career.
OBL operation and Missing Persons case were two critical cases that he was picked to oversee.
One can only wish that he would bring about changes the accountability body requires to justify its existence.
Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal’s speech in KP is being called a policy statement which came after criticism that bureaucracy is unable to work due to NAB’s pressure.
Irregularities and corruption in government institutions must be investigated but people at the helm of affairs should make the accountability process so transparent that nobody is able to point fingers.
The government institutions should discharge their duties honestly and fearlessly.