National Accountability Bureau springs into life
Apparently the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seems to have suddenly come back to life after a period of inaction.
In what appeared to be a shock to many, the NAB formally launched an investigation against Sharif Brothers in a money laundering case worth $32 million.
In the meantime, Director General Balochistan’s NAB said they were carrying out an inquiry into corruption charges leveled against two federal ministers.
Zafar Iqbal, the NAB’s spokesperson observed, “The president has directed NAB’s chairman to make sure that there should be no political victimization in this case”.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had claimed on April 28 that he had documentary evidence of the corruption against the PML-N leadership and would refer them to the accountability bureau.
It is vital to mention here that the federal government is the complainant in this reference, which also includes cases related to loan defaults worth Rs4.9 billion taken from nine different banks in the early ’90s.
Replying to a query, the spokesperson said he could only tell that a formal inquiry has been initiated. Rehman Malik claimed that Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif had siphoned off public money worth $32 million.
Iqbal stated, “Investigators will proceed with the money laundering case against Sharif brothers on merit. There will be no political victimization in this case”.
PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan rejecting the charges saying, “We are ready to face the inquiries. These are totally politically motivated inquiries”.
However, presidential spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar declined to confirm or deny whether President Asif Ali Zardari had given approval to NAB to investigate these cases.
According to the reference, Sharif Brothers provided guarantee on February 15, 1995, to pay on demand the Leasing Company any such due against the Hudabiya Paper Mills up to a maximum of $12.046 million together with all profits and charges. The paper mill, however, failed to make the payment on the first due date or any date thereafter, it added.
According to the NAB’s Balochistan chapter it was probing corruption charges leveled against two sitting federal ministers under directives of the apex court. However, he didn’t reveal the names of the alleged ministers.
The bureau is carrying out investigations in different federal and provincial mega projects worth between Rs50-100 million.