NAB doesn’t meddle in economic affairs: Chairman

(Dunya News) – National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (rtd) Javed Iqbal said on Sunday the bureau has not taken any step that would be detrimental for the state’s economy.

“The NAB has not intimated any businessman, and the business community is being falsely intimidated by that,” he said, adding the department is human-friendly.

“Those who think that NAB takes dictation live in fool’s paradise,” he said, while asserting that protective measures would be ensured for the business community.

He addressed a press conference in Islamabad, and asked, “What is NAB’s link with the escalating rate of the US dollar?”
He maintained that the bureau was not responsible for the current state of economy in the country.

“The [economic] crisis is not governmental rather ‘national’,” he stated, and suggested that economic affairs should not be ‘polluted’ with politics.

He said he had always welcomed constructive criticism.

“Arif Habib and Mian Mansha have appreciated the performance of the NAB, in the letters written to the bureau,” he said, asking “Whether both of them not represent the business community?”

He said that the businessmen should not be afraid as they would not be summoned by the bureau.

Justice Iqbal reiterated that the NAB and the economy have been functioning together but the accountability watchdog and corruption could not co-exist.

The chairman said he has never responded to allegations against him but considered it necessary to respond to allegations against the institution.

“I am neither an economist nor a politician. I started my life from judiciary and my entire career is an open book,” said he.

“Should we play a role of silent spectator if Rs500,000 are being charged for a work that costs Rs5000. We have done nothing wrong by asking unscrupulous elements about their corruption.”

Responding to claims that the NAB was meddling in Telegraph Transfers (TT), he said the department has nothing to do with it as far as businessmen are concerned.

“It is not our mandate.” He, however, added that in accordance with the law NAB can asked public officer holds about legality of their TTs.

“Those who have held public offices will be interrogated to curb money laundering”. He said the NAB would ensure that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) removes Pakistan from its grey list.

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