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Monday Dec 09 2019
Web Desk

References on corruption in Peshawar BRT, Malam Jabba ski resort almost ready: NAB chief

Web Desk
Chairman NAB Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal. Photo: File

National Accountability Bureau Chairman Javed Iqbal on Monday said that the corruption investigations into the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the Malam Jabba Ski Resort were bearing fruit and the references against culprits were almost ready. 

Addressing an International Anti-Corruption Day ceremony in the capital Islamabad, Iqbal noted that the winds had started blowing from a different direction, and people would be able to observe the differences arising as a result of this very soon. 

The ceremony was also attended by President Arif Alvi and Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser. According to reports, senior members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are behind the two corruption scandals referenced by the NAB chief. 

The Peshawar High Court had recently directed the Federal Investigation Agency to probe the multi-billion rupee Peshawar BRT project, which is still not complete despite multiple deadlines set by the PTI government, in the province of Khyber Pakhtwnkha.

Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and other senior officials of the government working under him when he was the chief minister in KP from 2013-2018 are separately facing investigations in the Malam Jabba ski resort case as well.

"We cannot claim to eliminate corruption completely from the country, nor is this only the responsibility of NAB," Iqbal said, adding that every Pakistani had to play a role in the campaign against corruption. Javed claimed that NAB was progressing well towards its destination. 

"Those who looted the country are either behind bars or have left the country," he claimed. He said people asked him often why NAB had not been taking action on BRT. "Let me make it very clear that action will be taken as soon as the stay order is vacated."

Responding to allegations that NAB is "in alliance" with the government, he clarified that NAB respects all the politician and bureaucrats. "We are not working on someone’s directions and not taking political revenge on someone’s behalf," he said.

"There is no point in badmouthing me, you should rather focus on defending your cases," he said, possibly in reference to a statement from PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, who in a recent press conference had alleged that NAB is working on PM Imran Khan’s "instructions".