The Executive Board of the National Accountability Bureau gave a clean chit to Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, closing the investigations against him pending before it since 2001.
The decision was taken in a Board of the National Accountability Bureau chaired by its Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry.
The NAB under Musharraf regime in 2001 had launched investigation against Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and accused him of misusing authority and having assets beyond known means and the NAB took 15-years to close the investigations against him as they failed to find any solid evidence against him.
Besides giving the clean chit to Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, the Executive Board of the NAB also decides to close the investigation against Abdul Karim Nosherwani, Ex-Minister for Excise and Taxation, Balochistan which was pending for closure since 1999.
The Executive Board of the NAB also gave a go-ahead signal to launch an inquiry against Provincial Minister of Sindh for Zakat and Usher Dost Muhammad Rahimoo, who was alleged for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, misappropriation in distribution of Wheat in Taluka Chachro and Dhali, Sindh and misuse of authority and causing a loss of Rs500 million to the national exchequer.
Another inquiry launched was against Sherazi brothers of district Thatta of Sindh, Shafqat Shah Sherazi, Ex-MNA and Ejaz Shah Sherazi, Ex-MPA District Thatta Sindh, who were alleged for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income.
While Taking another major decision, the Executive Board of the NAB decided to file five corruption references.
First reference was decided to file against Arshad Farooq Faheem and others and in this case, the accused persons were alleged for exorbitant and illegal increase in prices of during drug pricing committee meetings and caused a loss of Rs692.96 million to the national exchequer.
The second corruption reference was decided to file against Asfand Yar Kakar, Ex-Food Minister Balochistan and others. In this case, the accused persons were alleged for embezzlement in government wheat amounting to Rs466.914 million from Provincial Reserve Center Pishin, Balochistan.
The third corruption reference was decided to file against Muhammad Aslam Butt, Ex-Mayor, Municipal Corporation Gujranwala and others. In this case, the accused persons were alleged for misuse of authority and awarded contract to M/s Rathore Enterprises on higher rates. Thus caused a loss of millions of rupees to the national exchequer.
The fourth corruption reference was decided to file against Dr. Ihsan Ali, Vice Chancellor Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan and others.
In this case, the accused persons were alleged for misuse of authority by making illegal appointments of 652 officials on contract/temporary basis that too without advertisements and completing all codal formalities as per law. Thus caused a loss of Rs462 million to the national exchequer.
The fifth corruption reference was decided to file against Syed Mussarrat Abbas, former Additional Secretary, Senate Secretariat, Islamabad and others. In this case, the accused persons were alleged for misuse of authority, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds of Senate Secretariat Employees Cooperative Housing Society. Thus caused a loss of millions of rupees to the national exchequer.
The Executive Board of the NAB decided to re-authorise an investigation against officers/officials of MEPCO, Trust Investment Bank Limited (TIBL), Multan and others. In this case, the accused persons were alleged for misappropriation, obtaining pecuniary benefits, misuse of authority, thus, caused a loss of Rs297.289 million to the national exchequer.
The Executive Board of the NAB decided to close investigation against Zahid Anwar, Chief Executive and Rukhsana Begum, Director M/s Zeeshan Energy Ltd, Faisalabad due to lack of incriminating evidence.
The EB also decided to close inquiry against Gohar Ejaz, CEO and others, inquiry against Israr Rauf, Member FATE, FBR and others and Tariq Shafi, account holder of Standard Chartered Bank Main Branch, Karachi due to lack of incriminating evidence.
While speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Chairman NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said that the NAB is committed to eradicate corruption by adopting Zero Tolerance Policy through awareness, prevention and enforcement strategy across the board.
He directed all officers/officials of NAB to work with more dedication and ensure transparency in conduct of complaint verification, inquiries and investigations against corrupt in accordance with laid down laws/SOPs of NAB and on merit.
APP add: Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said the case against him in National Accountability was falsely framed and the decision of NAB Executive Board had validated his stance.
The minister said he had been repeatedly claiming that there is no charge of corruption or misappropriation against him. But he was surprised when in 2015 NAB presented a list of 252 pending cases to the court of Justice Jawad S Khawaja in which my name was also included.
At that time also I had stated that it was all rubbish and had strongly reacted to the situation. I had challenged them to produce evidence if there was any and prosecute me. Otherwise close the case, he added.
Thanks God finally they have realised their mistake and closed down the case. Dar said in the list of 252 cases two cases were framed on the basis of anonymous complaints and it was duty of NAB to investigate these complaints.
He said this false case wasted his precious time and made him to undergo agony for which he reserved the right to move against those responsible. Since I hold the public office I have not yet decided to move against them. But as soon as I relinquish the office I shall consult legal aides to move against the Mushrraf era chairmen of NAB and others responsible.