–Javed Iqbal says NAB and economy will continue to function together, bureau cannot tolerate corruption
ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal on Sunday said the institution will take steps that are in the interest of the country and that the bureau has never acted under any influence.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Iqbal said, the current economic crisis is not a government crisis, but a national crisis. “When there is a national crisis, every man has the right to express his opinion.”
He added, “NAB is not responsible for the economic crisis. For the past few days, it is being said that NAB has been behind the economic crisis in the country.”
“What has NAB to do with dollar’s increasing value,” he asked.
“I am neither an economist nor a politician. I started my life from the judiciary and my entire career is an open book,” he said.
The chairman continued, “We have never interfered in the telegraph transfer of the business community. If this question is being put to a public office holder how they are sending and bringing in millions of rupees then it is the accountability watchdog’s responsibility, keeping in mind the law to inquire about it.”
“Those keeping a public post are being questioned about money laundering and will continue to be questioned about it. However, I will never call up a business to NAB. If someone has any grievances they should inform me,” he said.
Iqbal further said that governments keep changing, but the country is forever. “Whatever is in the interest of the country will be done. NAB is connected to the state not the government. Those days are long gone when there was no interrogation. There is no question of taking dictation from the government,” he added.
“A correct inquiry is not done against public representatives,” Justice Iqbal said, adding “Those who are apprehended, the investigation against them is sabotaged by calling meetings and committees. Democracy is never under danger because of accountability. Democracy comes under damage because of actions.”
Speaking about the grey list, the chairman said, money laundering is one of the reasons why Pakistan is in the FATF’s grey list. “When Pakistan’s issue is on the international level, NAB will not care about these few people. The blame game is one thing, but the interest of the country is another thing.”
“NAB will always give importance to the interest of the country. We have to get Pakistan out of the grey list and to make Pakistan’s image better on an international level, Iqbal asserted.
“If the accountability watchdog was on such good terms with the government, why would we have so many difficulties in getting the budget approved? On one hand, we have those who are on NAB’s radar whose lawyers take millions in fees and then there are our prosecutors who just take Rs100,000 or so,” he added.
Iqbal affirmed that the NAB and economy will continue to function together but NAB and corruption cannot co-exist.
His words were a reference to former president Asif Ali Zardari who on multiple occasions claimed that the NAB and economy can’t function together. He rejected such talks which blamed NAB for current economic fall.
“No trader or industrialist needs to be wary of NAB as no businessman will be summoned at NAB office in the future. NAB is not taking any sort of political revenge”, Justice (Retd.) Javed Iqbal said.