Chairman National Accountability Bureau recently said that the bureau was reviewing references forwarded by the prime minister’s adviser on interior affairs against the Sharif brothers, but “elections are near and political cases will not be reopened against anyone, including the Sharif brothers, for the time being”. He further added that President Zardari himself had barred him from reopening cases against Nawaz Sharif.
I am flabbergasted to read this statement. Chairman National Accountability Bureau has divided corruption cases into two categories: those involving politicians and those involving non-political persons. According to the logic of the NAB Chief, since elections are near, cases against politicians can wait. But if these cases cannot be processed when elections are near, can we expect them to be processed after the elections, especially if those implicated in the cases win the elections?
NAB is a highly politicised institution. A person who is groomed in legal traditions and trained in criminal justice administration cannot agree with this statement of Chairman NAB. This is discriminatory administration of justice and cannot be condoned in any way.
According to the other part of his statement, NAB does not process cases based on objective and impartial assessment; rather they act on the directions of the president as the Chairman NAB admits that he did not open these cases because of the directive from the president. Chairman needs to explain whether the NAB Ordinance enjoins him to act on the directions of the president. There is no doubt that Admiral Fasih has been appointed by the president of Pakistan; there are many state functionaries and judges of superior courts appointed by the president of Pakistan but they aren’t supposed to act on the directions of the president. I think, by making this statement, Admiral Fasih, has discredited the office of the Chairman NAB. Admiral Fasih is not qualified to hold this office. He should quit this office as he is an honourable person. I had congratulated him on his appointment as Chairman NAB, but the Admiral has disappointed me by making this statement that not only doesn’t reflect on him well but is also politically damaging for the president.