NAB recoveries, corruption go up during Mr Clean’s tenure

Published: 06:14 PM, 30 Jan, 2021
NAB recoveries, corruption go up during Mr Clean’s tenure
Stay tuned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal says Rs487 billion have been recovered during the past three years from people involved in corrupt practices.

On the other hand, the latest report released by the Transparency International says corruption in the Islamic republic has gone up during the past couple of years. (It has rejected claims that the data used for the purpose pertained to the PML-N period.) 

What does it mean when the NAB recoveries and the level of corruption, simultaneously, show an increase?

Logically, the level of corruption should have gone down if the oft-repeated claim for huge recoveries by the NAB chief is to be trusted. But the increase witnessed in it implies that corrupt people’s capacity to part with the graft has gone up.

Probably this indicates that corrupt people continue to make money through dishonest practices and then share part of the booty with the NAB

This state of affairs is quite disappointing, especially when the ruling PTI claims to be at war with corruption.

The NAB chairman had said only a few days ago that corruption and the country can’t co-exist. 

This he had said in response to the criticism of NAB coming from major opposition parties like the PML-N, PPP and the JUI. 

These parties insist that the NAB and Pakistan can’t co-exist and for the survival of the country the NAB should be disbanded.

They allege that the NAB is being used by the government as a tool for what they call political engineering, an allegation rejected by those in power. 

However, the anti-NAB parties don’t explain why they failed to do the same during their respective tenures of five years each. 

The PTI, at all fora, projects Prime Minister Imran Khan as Mr Clean who has zero tolerance for corruption. Maybe it is so. But if he is personally honest but when as country’s chief executive, he failed to uproot the deep-rooted menace, he will be held accountable in the hereafter. He is supposed to be responsible for solving all problems of people belonging to all walks of life.

After winning the 2018 elections, whose transparency and credibility are consistently being challenged by the opposition parties, it would have been justifiable if the PTI government had started hanging all those involved in corruption. If the existing laws were not adequate for the purpose, it should have enacted new legislation and taken other necessary steps for the purpose. 

Capital punishment to the corrupt would have sent a strong message to all those making money through dishonest means. Such a move would have been acceptable to all and sundry in view of the PTI’s manifesto. 

But it is regrettable that the PTI makes more noise but performs less. On TV screens the PTI representatives claim that the Imran government has outperformed all previous governments. However, the on-ground situation doesn’t endorse the assertion.    

Now that the PTI has served out half of its term, it should take urgent measures to award exemplary punishment to the corrupt.

In fact, when it claims that it is determined to transform Pakistan into a Madinah-like state, it should enforce Islamic punishments for all crimes.  

This means hands of thieves should be amputated, rapists be stoned to death. Drinkers, gamblers and those involved in other crimes should be punished in the light of Islamic laws.  

The rulers should bear in mind China’s example which, despite being an un-Islamic state, has awarded many of its senior officials capital punishment on account of involvement in corruption. What has the West done to China? Nothing.

The PTI government should also not care for any negative reaction from the West. No country is supposed to interfere with the internal matters of another state. 

The present rulers should also carry out punishments awarded to those detained in jails for years. Public money is being used to meet their expenditure in jails, which is totally unfair. 

The government’s failure to take the murderers and others involved in heinous crimes to gallows is an important factor responsible for the rise in the crime graph.  

If this was not done, the PTI would disappear from the political scene – and public minds – the moment it is out of power. 

If it wants to be remembered in history, it would have to do something worth remembering.

Ashraf Mumtaz

The writer is the Deputy Editor of 24 Digital.