NAB chief says NAO promulgators should be criticized, not him

Appears before PAC: Says will give in-camera briefing to panel on Jan 6

By: News Desk
Published: 02:55 PM, 7 Dec, 2021
NAB chief says NAO promulgators should be criticized, not him
Caption: TV grab.
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The NAB Chief Justice ® Javed Iqbal will give an in-camera briefing to the members of Public Accounts Committee on January 6. He vows to relinquish his office if he fails to satisfy the parliamentary body’s members, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The anti-graft watchdog head appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday to answer the questions of the parliamentary panel regarding the NAB audit. The committee has asked the NAB head to bring audit documents along with him.

APC Chairman Rana Tanveer said to Javed Iqbal that he held him in high esteem but ‘you took too long to appear before the APC’. He said that Mr Iqbal told about NAB’s efficiency before media only. “You should take the parliamentary committee into confidence. You are a former judge that’s why people have expectations from you,” he added.

It was decided that an in-camera session of the PAC would be held on Jan 6 in which the NAB chief would answer committee’s questions in detail. 

“I will satisfy the committee’s members on each and every matter and if I fail to do so, I will go home straight,” retired justice Javed Iqbal said. 

Talking to media after attending the PAC meeting, when Mr Iqbal was asked by a journalist that he was labelled as ‘daily wages chairman’ by PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he said only those people who had cases against them were not satisfied with him. “Their statements do not carry any weight,” he added.

The NAB head reiterated that to talk about the ‘selective accountability’ was 100% unjustified as it neither happened in the past, nor would it happen in future. 

He said that he always respected and would always respect parliament. He said due to his hectic schedule, he could not come to the parliament before. 

To a question that he was being criticized for getting an extension in his tenure, Mr Iqbal quipped those people should be criticized who promulgated the NAB ordinance, not him. 

Rejecting the allegation that the anti-corruption watchdog fovoured government officials, the NAB chief said that the Peshawar High Court decision against Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak was a clear proof of that.

A journalist asked him if there were no government official involved in corruption. On which, he retorted: “Don’t you know that NAB is investigating into Sabteen Khan affair and billion trees project.” 

He further explained the FIA was probing the flour and wheat scandals, not the NAB.  

Reporter Usman Khan