Anti-graft body not responsible for people's misery: NAB chief.

ISLAMABAD -- National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal said on Sunday the anti-graft watchdog was not responsible for the misery caused by prevailing economic crisis, inflation and rupee depreciation.

'NAB is not responsible for the economic crisis, devaluation of rupee, price hike, increased gas and electricity tariffs,' he said while addressing his first-ever presser since assuming charge as NAB's chief in October 2017.

The NAB chairman criticised between the lines the opposition and ruling party leaders alike while asserting that accountability would be conducted across the board irrespective of the status of a suspect. 'NAB will do whatever will be in the country's interest and the government cannot dictate it,' he remarked.

Businessmen won't be summoned while bureaucrats involved in white-collar crimes will be given a questionnaire

Prominent personalities from the ruling and opposition parties facing NAB cases include Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Zardari, Special Assistant to the PM Firdous Ashiq Awan, Adviser to the PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, and PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique.

Justice Iqbal asked the government and the relevant authorities not to appoint such individuals as were on NAB's radar on key positions. He said NAB arrested a suspect only on the basis of credible evidence.

However, he said, no businessman would be summoned to any NAB office in future. Bureaucrats involved in white-collar crimes would receive a questionnaire prior to their summoning, he added.

The chairman said neither the business community nor bureaucracy was afraid of NAB as the bureau had not received even a single complaint from the two sectors against alleged harassment.

Read: NAB sets up complaint cell for business community

At the end of the presser, the NAB chairman refused to take questions. However, before he left the rostrum, one of the reporters managed to ask a lengthy question regarding the alleged double standards of the Bureau in dealing cases of politicians like Aleem Khan and bureaucrats from Balochistan and some other influential persons, including real estate tycoon Malik Riaz against whom five cases were pending. The reporter also wanted the NAB chairman to respond to the allegation that he had held meetings with Malik Riaz and former president Asif Zardari prior to his appointment...

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