NAB to ‘appoint spy agency officers’ to probe high-profile corruption cases

Move comes following NAB's submission of record to an accountability court in Islamabad as per Supreme Court's order

Arfa Feroz Zake
This undated handout picture, available on the official website, shows the headquarters of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad. — NAB website
This undated handout picture, available on the official website, shows the headquarters of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad. — NAB website

  • Assistance of spy agency officers sought with approval of NAB chief. 
  • NAB seeks appointment of officers to key positions on deputation.
  • Move aimed at building strong, efficient intelligence system in NAB.

After reopening of the graft references worth billions of rupees with the Supreme Court's major verdict, the top anti-corruption watchdog has decided to seek the assistance of intelligence agency officers to probe the high-profile corruption cases, it emerged on Thursday.

Sources told Geo News that a letter in this regard had been written to the sensitive institutions with the approval of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmed Butt.

They also said that the anti-graft crusaders asked for the appointment of intelligence agency officers to key positions on deputation for the inquiries and that they are expected to start working in the next few days. However, they will serve on their existing scale and salaries.

The insiders further disclosed that all vacant posts in NAB will be filled immediately.

A deputy chairman of the national anti-graft body and prosecutor general will also be appointed soon on a permanent basis, they added.

The spy agency officers appointed on deputation will perform duties in the NAB offices and a strong and efficient intelligence system will be established in the anti-corruption watchdog, the sources said.

The decision to seek intelligence agency officers' assistance has been taken to make the process of accountability swift and effective. They will assist the investigation officers in the NAB inquiries.

The move came after NAB submitted a record of corruption references to an accountability court in Islamabad, in line with the apex court's order to restore graft cases against public office holders.

Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir directed the registrar of the court to review the cases’ records and present them before him.

The judge directed the NAB prosecutors to review the legal aspects of the cases as the nature of cases against private individuals, public office holders, and government employees is different.

On September 15, a three-member bench of the apex in a majority 2-1 verdict approved Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's petition challenging amendments made to the country's accountability laws during the tenure of the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government.

Then-chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial-led bench ordered restoring all graft cases that were closed against the political leaders and public office holders and declared the amendments void.

With this, various political bigwigs, including former prime ministers and a former president will undergo accountability.

The cases will be reopened against ex-PMs Nawaz Sharif, Yousuf Raza Gillani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Shehbaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former president Asif Ali Zardari, former chief ministers of Sindh, Punjab as well as dozens of former federal and provincial ministers, according to The News.

Sources said the fake accounts cases against Zardari and the rental power plants case against Ashraf have also been reopened. They added that the Toshakhana vehicles cases against Zardari, Nawaz and Gillani would also be investigated again.

Other politicians who would face cases include former chief minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar for amassing assets beyond known sources of income.