Islamabad: Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Justice (retired) Javedax Igbal has said the anti-corruption agency has concrete evidence of money laundering of billions of rupees by high-profile people, which were done by opening fake accounts in the name of ‘falooda wala’, ‘chhabri wala’ and ‘papar wala’.
He said in a statement, “The learned accountability courts in which NAB had filed references against accused persons are the relevant authority to decide about the innocence of any accused person as per law.”
The News International quoted the NAB chairman as saying that the people who are claiming their innocence in media should better request the accountability court concerned to resume hearing of their cases on a daily basis so that they plead about their innocence where the law will take its own course.
Earlier, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called the NAB a “tool to convert people into turncoats”.
Speaking at the Asma Jahangir Conference in Lahore, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader slammed the NAB for the problems being faced by the people of Pakistan.
Dawn quoted Abbasi as saying that in one of the cases filed against him the charge sheet was 35 pages long, while the NAB reference was 19 pages long.
“You can write anything in any charge sheet […]. What are we doing, where are we going?” he said.
Amid the country’s current situation, he said the law requires him to maintain financial records for the last seven years but he is being accused of a case that occurred 35 years ago.
“If you accuse me of something, then you also need to give the record for [the last] 35 years. I definitely cannot. I am all for accountability … [but] NAB is not accountability,” he said.
The PML-N leader stated that those who impose taxes on the people of Pakistan should give details of their own assets and answer for their own lifestyles, Dawn reported.
He said, “If members of parliament walk out to [sit in] a vehicle that costs Rs30-60 million, go to their Rs500m home [with a] monthly electricity bill of 0.2m. And they pay no taxes, what does that tell you?
“That’s a corrupt politician. Why don’t we go after them? Let us start with the president of Pakistan. Let the prime minister be next, followed by the leader of the opposition.
“Ask them this basic question: how do you justify your lifestyle?”
He further said accountability and electoral laws can only be amended through consensus. He informed the NAB that when amendments to the laws were presented by the Opposition, they were disregarded and branded by the government as an attempt to seek an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance), Dawn reported.
Abbasi said, “Does anybody care about people who are accused by NAB? Does anybody care about their families? Do you know that they can’t operate their accounts, businesses or apply for bank loans? There is a big human cost that is paid here.”