ISLAMABAD -- The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday reviewed mega corruption cases of the country's top politicians, including five ex-prime ministers, five former chief ministers and some sitting cabinet members, and expressed 'dissatisfaction' over delay in disposal of their cases in courts contrary to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 that requires decisions on such cases within 30 days.
The prominent among those facing NAB cases include former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Shaukat Aziz, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, former president Asif Ali Zardari, former chief ministers Shahbaz Sharif of Punjab, Qaim Ali Shah of Sindh, Nawab Aslam Raisani and Sanaullah Zehri of Balochistan and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and incumbent Sindh CM Sindh Murad Ai Shah.
Azam Khan, till recently personal secretary to Prime Minister Imran Khan, is also facing a corruption case related to the Malam Jabba resort project. Other ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders and cabinet members allegedly involved in mega corruption are: Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, ex-health minister Aamir Kayani and Aleem Khan.
Section 16 (a) of the NAO 1999, modified on March 26, 2010, says: 'Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force an accused shall be prosecuted for an offence under this ordinance in the court and the case shall be heard from day to day and shall be disposed of within 30 days.'
Bureau chairman directs prosecution wing to file applications in courts for early disposal of cases
A source told Dawn that the anti-graft watchdog had during a meeting expressed dissatisfaction over 'delay' in disposal of NAB cases. It was informed that a Rs264 billion case against Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government, had been under trial for over five years. Delayed tactics by the accused and transfers of investigation officers after three years were cited as some of the reasons for delay in disposal of the cases.
NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, who presided over the meeting held at the bureau's headquarters, directed the bureau's prosecution wing to file applications in courts for early disposal of the cases.
NAB deputy chairman Hussain Asghar, the prosecutor general accountability, director general (operations) and other senior officers were...