NAB dilemma: A jury of my peers

Is it possible that an organisation of thieves will be able to catch one of their own? The NAB chairman appointment gu

Omair Zeeshan October 16, 2010
The National Accountability Bureau is the government's solution to fighting corruption.

It is a federal executive agency of the Government of Pakistan and is vulnerable to all the same diseases that have been plaguing the government because of its inherent nature.

The Human Rights Watch world review of 2007 said “The government continues to use the National Accountability Bureau and a host of anti-corruption and sedition laws to keep in jail or threaten political opponents." That was then and not much has changed now.

But what do they know; they are just one of the world's leading independent organisations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. While this was originally implemented by the previous government, the present government decided that this was an effective tool for the persecution of anyone who was not on the same page as them.

NAB consists of bureaucrats, lawyers and politicians; a bad combination by any standard. But maybe we are not giving the government enough credit. It is possible that using an organisation of “thieves“ to catch their own might actually work. Then again, I doubt it, given our history of overcoming everything that stands between us and our pursuit of corruption.

Now, Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain has been appointed Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau. Political opponents objected. They did so because Hussain has been elected to the Senate on the ruling political party's ticket twice. They also do not like the fact that the new chairman has defended the president in corruption cases as his lawyer.

Hussain's appointment is an obvious “conflict of interest“.
It clashes with the interests of opposition parties who would like to thoroughly explore corruption charges levelled at the current government.

In this case the parties are alleging that he has ties to the current government and that it would be beneficial for him if they were to stay in power, and vice versa.

Regardless of whether the charges levelled are true or not, the whole point of an impartial organisation is lost if bias enters the picture.

However, the presence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily mean that impropriety is guaranteed. But it does guarantee the demise of ethics, if any existed in the first place.

The question is: will anyone really believe NAB when it says that the president is innocent?
Omair Zeeshan Corporate Account Manager by day and photographer by night. He can be found on Twitter @OmairZeeshan
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Basit Yousuf | 13 years ago | Reply I have read somewhere that ""it takes intention not power to take initiative against evil" so I am hopeful when as a Pakistani we will make strong intention to throw every corrupt under the justice, It will happen. Regret that we don't even have the intention to do so. We are much busy in our butter and bread + to achieve glamorous objectives. So where will be the country? We must have to go beyond discussions. At least we have to be practical for education, community development and health.
parvez | 13 years ago | Reply The ruling party is diabolically intelligent. They are two steps ahead of the rest. The credibility and performance of NAB is debatable. I like your closing question.
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