Go to court if NAB filed ‘wrong’ reference, says Javed Iqbal

NAB chairman says protecting interests of traders top priority: Will resign if even one trader has left country due to Bureau: Rs 487b recovered from corrupt elements in last three years

By: News Desk      Published: 12:51 PM, 26 Jan, 2021
Go to court if NAB filed ‘wrong’ reference, says Javed Iqbal

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has said that if anyone thinks that the NAB has filed a “wrong” reference then he or she can go to the court, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing industrialists in Islamabad on Tuesday, the NAB chairman said there was no question of political engineering by the NAB as “I do not know anyone personally so the talk of political vendetta is of no use”.

Javed Iqbal said that protecting the interests of traders was his top priority. “While on one hand we have a begging bowl in our hand, on the other we still owe billions of dollars to our creditors,” he added.

The NAB chairman said corruption and Pakistan could not go together while Pakistan and the NAB could.

He rubbished the claims of political engineering by the NAB, saying he had never met any politician. “When I don’t know somebody personally, why would I take revenge on him or her?” he questioned.

Javed Iqbal said wheat of Rs10 to 15 billion was embezzled in one of the provinces, and the government of that province had taken the plea that mice had eaten that wheat stock.

He made it clear that no threat or intimidation or blackmailing could become an obstacle in his way. "If somebody feels, NAB has filed a reference with a mala fide intent, he or she should go to the court since the Bureau is also responsible for its actions,” he counselled.

Javed Iqbal regretted that NAB was being subjected to vicious propaganda. “Critics have levelled all kinds of allegations against the Bureau, except that of spreading coronavirus,” he deplored.

The NAB chairman said that law and order situation in the country was quite better now, and for that the credit went to the Pakistan Army.

Javed Iqbal challenged that he will step down if it is proven that even one businessman has left the country out of fear of the anti-graft watchdog. He said that he never interfered in any department unnecessarily as the anti-graft watchdog believes in transparent accountability process.

He said that Pakistan is in debt of billions of rupees and the bureau has submitted billions in the national exchequer. He further said that a strong economy is a must for a powerful country and vowed to solve problems of businessmen at the earliest.

The NAB chairman further said that investors provide jobs to thousands of people and claimed that the Bureau has never asked source of investment from traders.

He further said that a favourable environment is required to attract investments but the NAB cannot ignore ill-gotten money.

Javed Iqbal disclosed that Rs487 billion have been recovered from corrupt elements over the last three years. He said 1,235 references were pending before different courts and even one percent of them were not against the businessmen.

Javed Iqbal said the NAB was no longer pursuing tax cases against the business community. He said facilitating the traders and businessmen was their priority.

The NAB chairman NAB however said that the corrupt elements will not be spared. He said billions of rupees have been recovered from illegal housing societies and returned the amount to the affectees.

Above all, the Chairman said that it will continue to perform its duties honestly without any fear.