New amendment useless if meant to benefit accused: NAB chief

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LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) highly values every parliamentarian and avoids reacting to criticism from them, says NAB Chairperson Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

He said his institution respects every politician as Pakistan was created by them. 

He said this during a ceremony held at the NAB Lahore to hand over cheques worth Rs730 million among 1,434 affected people of the Grand Avenue Housing Society.

He emphasised that no NAB action will stand in violation of the law, as it is bound to work while restricting itself in the ambit of the law. The bureau doesn’t believe in hurting people’s sentiments, he added. The parliament is mandated to introduce amendments to the Constitution, he said.

Commenting over the proposed amendment to the NAB Ordinance, he said the amendment will be useless if it is meant to facilitate the accused. The modification of law should help the institution build its confidence, he emphasised.

The chairperson termed NAB Lahore’s actions admirable under the command of the NAB director-general, who has contributed to the overall performance of the anti-graft body. He referred to NAB Lahore’s recent speedy plea bargain amounting to Rs2.26 billion in the Grand Avenue Housing Society scam as remarkable.

He further said NAB Lahore has disbursed billions of rupees among thousands of affected people and departments concerned. The chairperson, talking about the plea bargain law, said that the law is usually criticised by different circles without knowing the fact that NAB holds plea bargains as per the law.

He said that NAB has never forced any accused to hold a plea bargain with the Bureau. He said when criticising the plea bargain law, it should be noted that it is being effectively practised in different European countries as well. He continued by saying that where affected people are not provided with cash, they are facilitated with plots and houses.

He said the accountability process will continue till every deserving individual gets their right. 

If we stand against corruption, criticism is not out of our expectations, he said.

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