ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bukhari on Saturday said that the investigation into Dr Arsalan Iftikhar’s case would be made transparent as the NAB had no “specific agenda”. Addressing a press conference, Bukhari also told the media about a letter written to them by Arsalan’s counsel which he claimed was “an effort to influence the proceedings of the case”.
“The notice bears threatening language attempting to hamper proceedings. This constitutes offence under the law and this aspect will also be looked into. NAB considers the contents of the notice not only threatening but an attempt to intervene in the official working of the organisation. As JIT is in the process of complying with the orders of the SC, the ‘notice’ by Mr Arsalan Iftikhar is tantamount to the contempt of court as well,” he added. “I have constituted the joint investigation team (JIT), headed by DG Financial Crimes, NAB. The team comprises of members from police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB. Services of legal, financial and forensic experts can be hired by the team if needed. The NAB is conducting the investigation into the matter to comply with the orders of the Honourable Supreme Court (SC),”said Bukhari.
He emphasised that the investigations into the case would be “impartial, transparent, purely on merit and strictly under the laws of the land” as NAB had no specific agenda. He said the team would also visit London while laying focus on the point that the investigation may take some time.
Asked how he could remain impartial in probe against Dr Arsalan when Malik Riaz had played a key role in his appointment, the NAB chief said, “It doesn’t matter if I know Malik Riaz or Nawaz Sharif, the investigation will be unbiased.” He also added that he had never taken any money from Malik Riaz. The NAB chief explained about the composition and terms of reference (ToR) of the JIT constituted to investigate the matter. He said the court had ordered the federal government to activate the state machinery to investigate the case and punish the culprits. “Pursuant to the directives of the SC, the office of the Attorney General asked NAB to conduct in-depth investigation by constituting a team comprising upon the officials of NAB, FIA and police”.
He said that the JIT would determine whether it was a case of collusion between two private individuals or a case of extortion by any of the accused. “The team will look into all the relevant transactions, money trail, investments, commercial dealings, business profiles, relevant meetings and if required details of communications between those associated, in any manner, with the case,” he maintained. Responding to a question, the chairman NAB said that the JIT would largely depend on documentary evidence; therefore, the question of favour or disfavour to anyone didn’t arise.