National Accountability Bureau
|Formed||November 16, 1999|
|Jurisdiction||Constitution of Pakistan|
|Headquarters||Islamabad Capital Venue|
|Parent department||Autonomous (Autonomous)|
The National Accountability Bureau (Urdu: قومی دفتر احتساب; reporting name:NAB), is an autonomous and constitutionally established federal institution responsible to build efforts against corruption and prepare critical national economic intelligence assessments against economic terrorism to the Government of Pakistan. It has come under criticism for inhumane treatment of its detainees and the sweeping powers bestowed upon it under the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 promulgated by a military junta. Pakistan's parliamentary committee that monitors corruption cases has criticized The National Accountability Bureau for its unwillingness to prosecute former Army officers involved in corruption scandals.
The NAB is empowered to undertake any necessary prevention and awareness, in all means, in addition to enforce its operations against the economic terrorism and financial crimes. It was established on 16 November 1999 and its sphere of operation has been expanded and extended since. The constitution grants to launch investigations, conduct inquiries, and issues arrests warrants against the individuals suspected in the financial mismanagement, terrorism, corruptions (all in private-sector, state-sector, defence sector, and corporate-sector), and directs cases to accountability courts.
Established by Ordinance No. XIX in 1999, its powers has been extended to conduct inquiry at higher level by the Article 270AA of the Constitution of Pakistan. With its chief headquarters located in Islamabad, it has four regional offices in the four provinces of the country as well as four capital territories of the country. As of present, the institution is constituted and directed by its current chairman, Qamar Zaman Chaudhary.
Its mission according to the official website:
|“||is to work to eliminate corruption through a comprehensive approach encompassing prevention, awareness, monitoring and combating.||”|
The bureau has two principal officers: the Chairman; and the Prosecutor General of Accountability in Pakistan. The Chairman is the head of investigation, and serves a four-year term. Lt-Gen Syed Mohammad Amjad was the first chairman of the bureau. Major (Retd) Qamar Zaman Chaudhry is the present chairman of NAB. The Prosecutor General is the head of prosecution, and serves a three-year term. Additional Attorney General Karim Khan Agha is current Prosecutor General of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Performance and notable operations
Since its formation, the institution has recovered over ₨. 240 Bn (approximately $ 4 Bn) from corruption committed by country's elite politicians, bureaucrats, former military officers, and those involved in the white-collar crimes. According to Musharraf the "NAB was created to put the fear of God in the corrupt, as Pakistan was on the brink of being declared a failed state before he came to power."
Prosecution and investigations
In 2011, the NAB reported that it has 1791 cases that were under prosecution, out of which, 1093 cases prosecutions were completed.
In 2013, NAB inducted a large number of officers and conducted their Investigation Training at COMSATS University in Islamabad. The officers, after successful completion of the eight month training, were posted to different bureaus within the country. There are various challenges currently faced by NAB, including a slow judicial process, difficulty in collecting prosecutable evidence since the majority of country's public record is not electronically archived or integrated into a central database.
NAB employees are consistently kept up to date with new training programs in financial crimes.
The National Accountability Bureau has been criticized by the Supreme Court for mismanagement. Justice Jawad S. Khawaja of the Supreme Court criticized the institution for its practice of 'plea bargain' and described it as 'institutionalized corruption.' Under the said practice the Bureau arrests suspects and negotiates for an out-of-court settlement under which the suspect is made to sign a confession and deposit funds of an amount determined by NAB. Justice Khawaja stated during court proceedings that he believed some NAB officials warn influential suspects before arrest to allow them sufficient time to escape.
- Headline news, National. "Major (R) Qamar Zaman Chaudary assumes charge as Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau". GEO Television Network. Geo Public News Media plc. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- National Accountability Bureau. "National Accountability Bureau". National Accountability Bureau. National Accountability Bureau. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices". March 31, 2003.
- "Human Rights Watch | Human Rights Developments".
- "PAC asks NAB to probe army generals".
- Pakistan. "Ordnance No. XVIII of 1999". Constitution of Pakistan. Constitution of Pakistan. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- Govt. Pakistan. "National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance 1999" (PDF). Govt. Pakistan. Govt. Pakistan. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- About us – National Accountability Bureau
- "Financial recoveries".
- "Prosecution Data".
- "NAB affairs come under scrutiny at Supreme Court". DAWN. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "SC cancels bail of prime accused in Pattoki Housing Society corruption case". Pakistan Observer. Retrieved 23 March 2015.