Government officials have finally accepted that the actions of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are proving to be a hurdle in the economic prosperity of the country. For months, different business associations and several government officials had been complaining that NAB officials have been stepping out of their boundaries and have been harassing them.
PM Imran Khan commenting on this issue said that there have been a number of incidences where the government projects have been delayed just because the bureaucracy hesitated to take any major decision due to the fear of harassment from NAB officials later on. The PM further said that NAB has to create a framework for its working so it can differentiate financial miscalculations/human errors from financial theft.
Government officials said that the jurisdiction of NAB is far too vast and legislation needs to be done in order to organize the actions of NAB. The officials further said that NAB was established to handle the most serious corruption cases and not petty issues. One government official in an interview to a private TV channel said that NAB need not enter into each case, we have SECP and PSE to handle the insider trading cases, we have FBR to handle taxation theft and so on. Therefore, NAB needs to create its area of operations and not interfere in the jurisdiction of other government bodies. He further added that NAB has been resolving financial disputes between people, for which it was never established and NAB should focus only on high priority corruption cases.
NAB has been acting against the opposition members, particularly the ones involved in the borrowing of money from 2008 onwards. According to some experts, the government has been using NAB as a tool for controlling the opposition. This claim also seems to be true as banning of the screening of interviews of Maryam Nawaz and Ishaq Dar back up the opposition’s claims of witch-hunting efforts by the government, through the department of NAB.