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NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU (NAB)

NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU (NAB) The National Accountability Bureau was established by the government of General Pervez Musharraf under the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance of 1999 The bureau so created was to be headed by a serving lieutenant general Lieutenant General Amjad Hussain was appointed to this position It was clear that the government headed by General Musharraf attached considerable importance to the issue of corruption and had concluded that stern action in this regard would win it some legitimacy Its intention was to directly involve the military in this operation, thus winning both the new administration and the armed forces some credibility in an area-public and political corruptionthat had created great resentment in the country The ordinance contained a number of draconian provisions relating to detention, bail, and evidenceThe NAB initially concentrated its efforts on the banking sector in response to the widespread belief that commercial banks had been raided by the administrations of Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif to help their respective families, friends, and political supporters Accordingly, one of the first acts of the NAB was to set 16 November 1999 as the deadline for the payment of all overdue loans to the banks The response was less than anticipated While a number of well known industrialists and businessmen were taken into custody, the NAB discovered that even armed with new law-enforcement instruments, both the recovery of long overdue loans and the prosecution of alleged perpetrators was going to be a difficult task



The NAB also pursued a number of politicians who had served a series of administrations that were in office in the 1980s and 1990s Among those brought into the NAB net were Faisal Saleh Hayat, Aftab Khan Sherpao, and Liaquat Jatoi Later, as the military government began the difficult task of creating a political base for itself, an impression was created that the NAB was being used to harass the government’s opponents and provide succor to its supporters This impression was reinforced when a number of politicians who had cases pending before NAB courts were invited to join the cabinet headed by Zafarullah Khan Jamali, the first prime minister under General Musharraf Hayat, Sharpao, and Jatoi were brought into the cabinet and were assigned important portfolios Also, by not bringing military officials into its net, the NAB created the impression that the new government was being highly selective in pursuing the problem of corruption The only exception to the hands-off policy followed with respect to military personnel was the long incarceration of Admiral Mansur ul Haq, who was head of the navy in the late 1990s and was accused of having benefited personally from the purchase of nuclear submarines from France

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