In what appeared to be a courageous move, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bukhari spoke about President Asif Ali Zardari’s immunity in and outside the country.
While speaking to the media, Fashih Bukhari said the courts were taking up major cases that would impact commercial and political state of affairs in the country.
About ministries’ involvement in the Rental Power Plants (RPP) cases, He was of the opinion that it was fine if they were innocent otherwise they will have to face investigations. He observed, “NAB Ordinance allows plea bargain in cases where one returns money voluntarily”.
Bukhari claimed he knew how cases were made against Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He, however, said that those cases were not being closed up till now.
Terming the weak regulatory regime and involvement of federal secretaries as major causes of corruption in the country, the chairman said that the accountability bureau halt the spread of this culture in the country by working for perfection of legislation and rules.
The NAB Chairman commented, “Prevention is more important than coming into action after the crime. Taps of corruption are open and there is a need to adopt a strategy that helps us stop the spread of corruption”
He asked regulators to improve their working for elimination of corruption, saying that if the officials faced any kind of pressure from any side at any stage, they should be saved.
In his view, leveling allegations against the government was a political tactic. One should go to the concerned authorities if anybody has proof against any government official instead of politicizing the issue.
In reply to a question, Fasih admitted that there were cases of corruption against corporations including the National Logistics Cell (NLC) and Pakistan Railways (PR).
He added, “At present, NAB is working with only 25 percent of the required strength. Some 300 new investigation officers are being inducted in the organization with the approval of the government. NAB will investigate all corruption cases on merit”.
He clarified that they will pursue the cases to root out corruption in the country, not to victimize anybody.