NAB chief vows to ‘resist pressure’
ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari said on Saturday he would never resign and would continue to work for elimination of corruption.
“If authorities concerned want me out of office, they can remove me,” he said at a press conference.
The NAB chairman did not elaborate on what had compelled him to hold the press conference.
But sources in the bureau said he was under tremendous pressure after initiating investigations against top politicians, generals and other influential persons.
Mr Bokhari said nothing could diminish his resolve to fight corruption.
However, he added, there was no pressure on NAB from the Presidency or the General Headquarters.
“I will fight corruption in collaboration with regulators and officials,” Mr Bokhari said.
He said the NAB had reshaped its strategy by bringing the aspect of prevention to the forefront.
Giving an overview of major achievements of NAB over the past six months under the prevention and awareness regime, he explained the strategy and re-prioritisation in his anti-corruption efforts in which the prevention regime had been given top priority to ensure prevention of corruption along with enforcement practices.
“In the past the NAB concentrated on criminal acts, victimisation and cognizance of misappropriations in procurements already done. This approach has been replaced with the more comprehensive, robust anti-corruption regime based on prevention, awareness and enforcement,” he said.
The NAB chairman claimed major successes in preventing corruption at the highest level without discrimination or victimisation.
He said since March, 173 projects of federal and provincial level were scrutinised by the NAB, carrying a financial impact of Rs14.75 billion. “The projects and corresponding amounts prevented from corruption are: 14 projects at federal level (Rs15.26bn), 55 at Sindh level (Rs26.3bn), 78 at Punjab level (Rs11.2bn), 12 at Balochistan level (Rs9.6bn) and 14 at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa level (Rs1bn).”
The nature of NAB diligence covered pre- and post-procurement misdemeanours in projects, he said. It covered matters ab initio in which gross violations of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules or departmental rules/procedures had been observed, he said.
Representative projects pertained to Wapda, Capital Development Authority and Port Qasim Authority (PQA), he said.
He said Wapda increased the cost of Neelum Jhelum project from PC-I value of Rs84bn to Rs321bn. The authority violated PPRA rules in award of a contract to a Chinese firm regarding procurement of thrust boring machines at a cost of Rs19.5bn, he said.
He said the PQA and the Karachi Port Trust had been engaged to restrain them from committing corruption in a dredging operation, purchase of a 75 ton bollard pull tug and allotment of plots.
Substantial corrections, revisions of draft contracts and compliance to rules had been exercised by various departments, including the National Highway Authority, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Universal Service Fund Company, the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, he said.