NAB is ‘damn serious’ in curbing corruption

*Chaudhry wants young people to be in the vanguard against corruption

NAB is ‘damn serious’ in curbing corruption

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Friday said NAB intends to curb corruption with iron hands by adopting zero tolerance policy across the board for corruption-free Pakistan.

He said this while chairing a monthly coordination meeting to review latest progress on the decisions taken in the previous monthly coordination meeting at NAB Headquarters.

"NAB had chalked out a proactive National Anti-Corruption Strategy to curb corruption and corrupt practices from the country. NAB during the last 16 years has received about 326,694 complaints from individuals and private/public organizations. During this period NAB authorized 10,992 complaint verification, 7,303 inquiries, 3,648 investigations, filed 2667 corruption references in respective accountability courts and overall conviction ratio is about 76 percent," he added.

The chairman said that NAB's prime focus is on cases of cheating public at large by fraudulent financial companies, bank frauds, willful bank loan defaults, misuse of authority and embezzlement of state funds by government servants etc. Since NAB's inception, one of NAB's major achievements has been the recovery of around Rs 287 billion of ill-gotten money which was deposited in the national exchequer which is a remarkable achievement of NAB.

He added that the figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations are almost double as compared to the same period of 2014 to 2015. The comparative figures for the latest two years are indicative of the hard work being put in by all ranks of NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty. Increase in the number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trusted in the NAB.

He said PILDAT in its report supports the position stated above as 42% people trusted NAB against 30 % for police and 29 % for government officials. The recent report of Transparency International also rated Pakistan in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 126 to 116 which is a great achievement for Pakistan due to Chairman NAB's efforts. The World Economic Forum and Mishal Pakistan according to Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum rated Pakistan from 126 to 122 this year which is great achievement of Pakistan due to NAB efforts.

He said that to create awareness against the ill-effects of corruption among the youth of Pakistan, NAB in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and in a very short span of time established over 42,000 character building societies (CBSs) in universities/colleges to create awareness against corruption as youth are considered a vanguard in this fight. NAB has target that the number of Character Building Societies (CBS) should reach at least at 50,000 in 2017 in order to aware students about the ill-effects of corruption.

He said that NAB has established its first Forensic Science Lab (FSL) in NAB Rawalpindi/Islamabad. The Forensic Science Lab has facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis. NAB had hosted the first SAARC Seminar in Islamabad where the heads of SAARC anti-corruption authorities agreed to the creation of SAARC Anti Corruption Forum.

Pakistan was elected as first Chairman of SAARC anti-corruption forum. This is a major achievement both for the NAB as well as the Government. NAB on bilateral cooperation, has signed MoU with China to streamline and structure and cooperation in the fields of anti-corruption. In the context of CPEC this cooperation will further boost confidence in projects undertaken in Pakistan. Another MoU is proposed to be signed with Malaysia. Details are being worked out.