Investigating generals: Military refuses to assist NAB in NLC scam

Published: March 11, 2012
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Refusal is likely to torpedo NAB’s plan to form joint inquiry team against army, civilian officials involved in scam.

Refusal is likely to torpedo NAB’s plan to form joint inquiry team against army, civilian officials involved in scam.

ISLAMABAD: 

Military authorities have turned down a request by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to share details of a multi-billion rupee National Logistic Cell (NLC) scam involving three former generals, officials said on Saturday.

The refusal is likely to torpedo NAB’s plan to form a joint inquiry team against army and civilian officials involved in the scam of the army-run transportation company.

The bureau is conducting investigations against NLC officers, including Lt-Gen (retd) Khalid Munir Khan, Lt-Gen (retd) Mohammad Afzal Muzaffar and Maj-Gen (retd) Khalid Zaheer Akhtar.

The former generals have been held responsible by the auditor-general of Pakistan for corruption to the tune of billions of rupees.

“The military has refused to cooperate with us. Now, it has become difficult for investigators to interrogate former generals directly,” an investigator told The Express Tribune.

Investigators said they may now seek arrest warrants for the three former military generals – a move that may result in the first-ever prosecution of former military personnel in a civilian court.

“We should arrest all accused, including the generals, since the (General Headquarters) and the ministry of defence have refused to comment on the bureau’s letters,” said an investigator, quoting NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha giving suggestions to NAB Chief Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari at a board meeting on Wednesday.

“The executive board meeting of NAB took serious notice of not receiving a response from the auditor general’s branch of the GHQ despite four reminders in the NLC scam,” said a statement issued after the meeting.

NAB had sought a progress report on the NLC scam inquiry, ordered by army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, last year. Gen Kayani had ordered an inquiry to probe into the scam when the news of corruption in the army-run company first surfaced.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had also found these generals guilty and directed the defence ministry to take action against them.

The military’s public relations arm, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), refused to comment on the issue in response to an email from The Express Tribune.

Earlier, on January 18, ISPR spokesperson Maj-Gen Athar Abbas had said: “I’m not aware of any reminders sent by NAB inquiring about investigations being conducted by the GHQ in the NLC scam.”

The scam is also believed to be one of the several bones of contention that led to the resignation of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as chairman of the PAC.

Nisar, who announced his resignation as chairman PAC on November 27, believed that the military brass was protecting its three-star generals involved in the scam, despite recommendations made by the powerful parliamentary committee.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2012.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story erroneously called Fasih Bokhari a retired air marshal. He is a retired admiral of the Pakistan Navy. The error is regretted.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Beatle
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:30AM

    Well, this reminds us of the mid-last-year refusal of Supreme Court Registerar Dr. Faqeer Hussain – supported by the CJ – to appear before the PAC of National Assembly to answer several discrepencies in SC balance sheet. The matter is stll on-hold in the NA files.

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  • Babbarsher khan
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:37AM

    Will the Supreme Court of Pakistan take notice of this and give its edict? Hope it is not worried about displeasing the most powerful and corrupt institution of the land of pure!

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  • Fundyar
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:45AM

    Fully support this
    Army is not holier than others
    If the generals are corrupt they must be tried

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  • MUNIB
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Pretty much explains the whole “MINDSET” of our ARMY

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  • Abdul Aleem
    Mar 11, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Is Army generals above the law???

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  • Mustafa Kamal
    Mar 11, 2012 - 11:05AM

    No General is corrupt. Recommend

  • dpd
    Mar 11, 2012 - 11:47AM

    I pity the labourer who steals petty items to feed his family. Getting caught will see him put into jail and the family will be left destitute. Stealing billions and living a life of comfort without any due worries of being caught is the noble mans way of life. This is the fact of life.

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Mar 11, 2012 - 11:59AM

    Army should share all the evidence as these generals are not above the lawRecommend

  • KiJ
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:00PM

    General are not above law… they must face the music and GHQ must save its face and whatever remaining dignity….

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  • sane voice
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:10PM

    well they say they are under constitution and would uphold it; they actually uphold their own brothers in uniform. the holier than thou attitude of army is sickenning. if they are really so clean as they claim, then they should let all independent efforts to investigate this scam. the corruption in army is no less than the political or civilian administration, its just covered up.

    P.S. @ ET. Fasih Bukhari was not air chief, he was naval chief / admiral (retd).

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  • Nadeem
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:18PM

    The Army should realize that this is no longer 1958, or 1977, or 1999. The era of lording over us civilians as the ‘Untouchables’ is gone. The generals should be subjected to the same law the rest of us are subjected to.

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  • Khuldun
    Mar 11, 2012 - 12:45PM

    I love and respect our soldiers but the top hierarchy has taken us to the dogs!Recommend

  • Ishrat Salim
    Mar 11, 2012 - 1:10PM

    The Generals must be brought to justice….it is not only the civilians who have to bear the brunt of ” corruption ” cases.They are no more ” sacred cows ” / untochables…get them.Recommend

  • MarkH
    Mar 11, 2012 - 1:27PM

    They most certainly are above the law. That’s what doing what you want without consequence is. Until one is convicted and treated the same as a random citizen, they will be. They’re not going to give up their lifestyle unless the alternative is worse and words are worthless as nobody, not even them, would expect someone to speak positively of such instances. Talk is expected. That much they’re naturally prepared for. They don’t even need to put effort into it, just ask ISPR if you can get the record to stop skipping for a moment.
    You don’t need to publicly be above the law to also be above it behind closed doors where it counts.

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  • usman786
    Mar 11, 2012 - 1:42PM

    It was under orders of shaukat aziz as we know from newspapers. Now we shd free the finance controller too who just made hay while the sun shines. Call ex PM too and hand all of those guilty

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  • Mar 11, 2012 - 1:50PM

    Generals are above the law

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    Mar 11, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Where is the righteous Imran Khan on this?

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  • Much Amused
    Mar 11, 2012 - 4:07PM

    “”NAB Chief Air Marshal (retd) Fasih Bokhari at a board meeting on Wednesday””.

    I do wish ET would get some more literate people editing their articles. Fasih Bokhari is a retired admiral of the navy, not an air marshal of air force.

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  • Zaheer
    Mar 11, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Speak out CJ Chaudhry. Speak out too Imran Khan, the accountability crusader. Speak out media loud mouths on issues of such importance.

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  • dasmir
    Mar 11, 2012 - 5:47PM

    The Gorbachov Moment for Kayani!
    What a poetic justice for the forces that take credit for Russian defeat and break up of Russia ?

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  • Uzair Javaid
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:00PM

    This trend now needs an end. A General leading the 0.8million men Army needs to be blunt on issues of corruption. This is the sole institution in Pakistan which has minimal corruption, other than done by those who wear the elite brass on their shoulders. CJ should now jump in to ensure corruption is dealt with across the board be it the military.

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  • usman786
    Mar 11, 2012 - 10:57PM

    ¥y friends this is not issue of corruption but following orders of Shaukat Aziz who as per media reports manipulated stock market with help of brokers and then wanted to stabilise it by NLC funds. And these Generals followed it blindly and some got commission from brokers for investing with them. Need to apprehend these brokers and shaukat too. The reports on market manipulation in last 10 years must be made public. FBR should take notice of benami property tfrs and pol party accounts

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  • Parvez Amin
    Mar 12, 2012 - 7:14AM

    Delaying tactics succeed in increasing the number of cases requiring adjudication to a point where the judicial system is overwhelmed by the volume of work required for trial and conviction. Every crook knows this. These responses have now become common and indicate the need for a new system that can shorten the time it takes for conviction. Such a system has been conceived and can be presented on demand.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 12, 2012 - 7:56AM

    The gangs of generals would not go against their own members. However, the courts want to force the elected govt to go against its own. Justice Pakistan style.

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  • Saleem
    Mar 12, 2012 - 9:25AM

    Pakistan army is paid from taxes from people of Pakistan. It can’t consider itself above those people. There is no excuse to hide or protect those who have looted wealth of the nation. Anyone, including Pakistan army, who doesn’t respect law of the land must be punished.

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  • saadia Yaqub
    Apr 16, 2012 - 11:36PM

    Its a shock and pity to hear about these accused GENERALS. May Almighty help them, they were indeed men of great worth till they were not generals AND WERE real humans . Alas sometimes positions Go TO HEAD and slashes a small favour into some explosive mistake. The civial positions are not fool-proof regimes for soldiers—deploy them in National Security positions ie JAILS, passport office setc they will be more successful as war is in their blood—its a honest advice use all this army cream in gaurding responsibilities they will be clean and happy and let the professionals HEAD all these TOP Complicated positions——

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