2 January 2021
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), of Balochistan, recovered around $43.4 million from corrupt elements, including government officials. It also filed 343 cases in the accountability courts of the province last year. The bureau had received more than 500 complaints from the public last year.
The NAB spokesman further said the bureau had signed an MoU with the Balochistan provincial government to jointly fight corruption in the province. Some of the major corruption cases that NAB unearthed last year were Reko Diq Gold and Copper project, Pat Feeder project and health and fisheries departments. Presently NAB is investigating some 150 cases of corruption in the province.
NAB hired Broadsheet LLC, an asset recovery firm, to trace assets in the UK and USA of more than 200 Pakistanis , including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Zardari . Broadsheet did not find any assets belonging to any corrupt persons. The London High Court determined on 17 December 2020 that NAB had breached the terms of contract and ordered NAB to pay $28.7 million to Broadsheet. The dispute between Broadsheet and NAB had been running for more than 17 years.
This shows the weakness in the contract negotiations. NAB should have negotiated the fees based on recovery.
In an interview with a private news channel Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country was under the debt of $37.2 billion in 60 years but debt reached $186 billion in the last 10 years of the previous governments. He said that when he came to power, PIA [Pakistan International Airlines] was under $2.8 billion debt and the Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) was shut because of its $21.7 million debt, while its employees had filed cases due to which the investors didn’t show their interest in investing. During the first two years, he said, the government had paid back $20 billion debt. He added that it will take time to repair the damage done by previous governments.
He added that the government would approach the chief justice of Pakistan for setting up a special court to hear the corruption cases of ministers on day-to-day basis, if any, and take action speedily. He said that the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, had sent millions of dollars outside Pakistan, while the country was suffering. Sharif’s ministers, including Khawaja Asif and Ishaq Dar, also plundered the nation, he added.
Dawn, wionews, and tribune reported.