ISLAMABAD:National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhary on Tuesday said that the bureau has cleared 92 per cent backlog of cases which have been pending for an extended period of time.
He said around 1133 cases were lying in old pending list but a deadline for processing pending cases was set (June 30, 2015) and 74 per cent out of total were cleared in all shapes and forms in July this year.
He was addressing an inaugural ceremony of NAB Forensic Science Lab here which has been established and made operational with an aim to equip NAB with latest technology to cater for its emerging needs to eliminate menace of corruption from the society.
The chairman said thanks to the bureau’s work force which worked diligently and achieved 92 per cent clearance of backlog till first week of October while remaining cases required further time and assured these would also be cleared soon.
Enumerating the achievements and initiatives of NAB, the chairman said the bureau is striving to rid the nation of corruption and corrupt practices by adopting zero tolerance policy across-the-board.
He said a concept of combined investigation has been introduced as investigation officers and prosecution are working as a team to ensure transparency and unbiased investigations.
He said a system had been formulated to standardise selection of cases. Priority is being given to cases as per the nature, the amount involved, the social impact and number of affected persons.
He said corruption is a plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. Historically it is evident that only those nations have developed and remained successful who have rooted out the menace of corruption and injustice from their societies.
“In a similar manner, if we in Pakistan want to become a developed nation it can only be possible if we uproot corruption from our society and show zero tolerance against corruption,” he added.
The chairman said that the experience of 15 years of NAB has shown that struggle against corruption is not the fight of one man, one institution rather the responsibility lies on every citizen. “We can only win this war through collective efforts of all segments of society. We need to show cooperation and spirit to fight the monster of corruption,” he said.
He said special emphasis was being laid on setting up character building societies in educational institutes across the country to build an effective edifice against corruption. He said that NAB has emphasised importance of students and given them an important role in fight against corruption and added in this respect NAB has signed an MoU with Higher Education Commission (HEC).
As per MOU, NAB has started developing Character Building Societies (CBS) in the universities, colleges and schools with the purpose to create awareness amongst the students regarding the adverse affects of corruption and spread the message in their homes and communities and build alliances to tackle this monster at the grass root level.
He said NAB is trying to create awareness among the people about effects of corruption. It is encouraging that for the first time anti corruption has been made a part of development agenda in the context of governance.
“Our experience at fighting corruption has led us to understand that enforcement alone cannot be cure to corruption. It requires a coordinated and a concerted effort with a three pronged strategy of awareness, prevention and enforcement,” he said.
The chairman said that the responsibility to educate the public on ill effects of corruption and to make it aware of its adverse effects lies greatly with the media. He said that It is heartening to see that media is playing a proactive role in this drive.
He said that under its proactive approach, NAB has been engaging different governmental and non-governmental organisations and civil society in its fight against corruption and to help disseminate “say no to corruption” message from their respective platforms.
In his welcome address, NAB Training and Research Director General Husnain Ahmad said that the Lab has facilities of digital forensics, questioned documents and fingerprint analysis. Australian National Police has provided equipment for the lab.
He said with the help of a forensic lab, investigation officers and teams investigating corruption cases will be able to produce better and quick results. NAB Deputy Chairman Imtiaz Tajwar, representatives of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Australian Embassy, media-persons and officials of Bureau attended the ceremony.