NAB gives a clean chit to Dar in 130bn case ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: After 15-year investigation, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has given a clean chit to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in over Rs130 billion corruption case.
According to the NAB spokesman, the decision was taken at the NAB’s Executive Board Meeting (EBM) that was chaired by bureau’s chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Friday.
“The EBM decided to close investigation against Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Finance and ex-Minister for Commerce, which was pending for closure since 2001, due to lack of incriminating evidence,” it is officially informed.
Minister says his stance has been vindicated after 15 years
The NAB spokesman did not mention the amount involved in the case. However, the details of the case still available on the official website of the NAB say he was accused of misuse of authority and having assets beyond known sources of income since 2000. It says money involved in the case included Rs32 million, UK Pounds 3.488 million and $ 1,250 million (over Rs130 billion).
The NAB spokesman was reluctant to give further details of the case and did not reply to some questions sent through mobile phone message (SMS).
Mr Dar has claimed many times in the past that he was facing no corruption case but the decision taken by the NAB on Friday negated his claims.
Interestingly, if there was no incriminating evidence in the federal minister’s case, then why the NAB had included his case in the list of 179 mega corruption cases that was presented before the Supreme Court last year and whose update is also shared with the apex court periodically.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, the federal minister said he was happy that he had won justice though after 15 long years. He said the NAB (money laundering) reference against him was shocking and it was moved against him on a political basis.
He said he would think of taking legal action against those responsible for the reference after completing his tenure as the finance minister.
OTHER CASES: The NAB board also made some other important decisions including approval of five corruption references. The first corruption reference was decided against Arshad Farooq Faheem and others for exorbitant and illegal increase in drug prices during drug pricing committee meetings which caused a loss of Rs692.96 million to the national exchequer.
The second reference was approved against Asfand Yar Kakar, ex-minister food of Balochistan, and others for embezzlement in government wheat amounting to Rs467 million from the Provincial Reserve Center, Pishin.
The third one was approved against Muhammad Aslam Butt, ex-mayor of the Gujranwala Municipal Corporation, and others. In this case, the accused were alleged for misuse of authority and awarded contract to M/s Rathore Enterprises on higher rates.
The fourth reference was authorised against Dr Ihsan Ali, vice chancellor of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan and others for misuse of authority by making illegal appointments of 652 officials on a contract/temporary basis and that too without advertisements and completing all codal formalities as per law causing a loss of Rs462 million to the national exchequer.
The fifth one was against Syed Mussarrat Abbas, former additional secretary, Senate Secretariat, Islamabad and others who misused authority and committed criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds of the Senate Secretariat Employees Cooperative Housing Society.
The EBM also decided to re-authorise an investigation against officers/officials of the Multan Electric Power Company, the Trust Investment Bank Limited (TIBL), Multan and others for misappropriation, obtaining pecuniary benefits, misuse of authority involving Rs297.289 million.
The EBM decided to authorise two inquiries. The first one against Shafqat Shah Shirazi, ex-MNA, and Ejaz Shah Shirazi, ex-MPA from Thatta district of Sindh for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income.
The second inquiry was authorised against Dost Muhammad, Rahimoo, Minister for Ushr and Zakat, Sindh and others who were involved in accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income, misappropriation in distribution of wheat in Taluka Chachro and Dhali, Sindh and misuse of authority causing a loss of Rs500 million.