Citing lack of evidence, the National Accountability Bureau ordered closure of investigation against two former provincial lawmakers, a former bureaucrat and three powerful bankers allegedly involved in embezzlement worth millions.
The accountability watchdog, however, also initiated several new inquiries at the same sitting.
Presiding over an important meeting on Wednesday, Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari dropped the inquiries against Pakistan Peoples Party senior leader Lal Bux Bhutto and former Awami National Party MPA Pervaiz Ahmed Khan due to lack of evidence.
No details pertaining to the corruption charges against these leaders were mentioned in the notification and NAB officials remain tight-lipped over the decision.
The board also dropped inquiries against former secretary agriculture Zafar Altaf and three powerful bankers due to lack of evidence.
Earlier this month, Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio informed the Senate that 10 probes involving billions of rupees of corruption were closed during the tenure of former NAB chairman Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shah. He admitted that the prosecution could not pursue various cases due to lack of manpower in the watchdog.
The NAB chairman, however, ordered initiation of an inquiry against former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Aslam Kachhela, allegedly involved in allotment of plots in a fake housing society.
Bokhari also ordered investigations against former chief secretary Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Javed Iqbal and several senior government officials involved in misappropriation of public funds, illegal allotments of land and embezzlement.
Chairman NAB said a paradigm shift is needed to focus on the recovery of embezzled public money.
If regulatory bodies take appropriate and timely action, financial fraud can be reasonably brought down, Bokhari said. He also called for rigorous monitoring of regulatory bodies.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2011.