NAB’s successful anti-corruption strategy?

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ADDRESSING an event in the capital on Monday, Chairman National Accountability Bureau Qamar Zaman Chaudhary expressed upbeat remarks about the Bureau’s anti-corruption strategy describing it as successful. The very remarks appear to be in sharp contrast to some of the recent observations made by the Supreme Court about the performance of the Bureau, which in fact declared its plea bargain scheme as a tool of boosting corruption.
There is no doubt that the NAB is a very important institution as it was established with the sole purpose of bringing to book the corrupt elements without any discrimination. The Bureau claims recovering billions of rupees from the plunderers since its inception but one should also not forget that its controversial scheme of voluntary return has also given clean chits to big fish on the return of a fixed amount, which is settled, between NAB officials and fraudulent people. This scheme rather has also raised questions on the credibility and honesty of the NAB officials. In addition, the main responsibility of the Bureau is to take strict steps which serve as a deterrent against corruption in the society but so far its major thrust has been on creating awareness which we believe is the duty of media and civil society and not of the anti-corruption body. There is a general perception that the NAB is wasting its energies on micro corruption instead of concentrating on mega scandals. Occasionally, we do see the Bureau taking action against the corrupt mafia like huge recovery it made a few months back from the residence of a bureaucrat in Balochistan but there is no consistency in these efforts. Instead of making big claims and bolstering of their successes which so far are negligible, we would urge the Chairman NAB to revisit his policy and work out a robust anti-corruption strategy which prosecutes and bring to justice all and sundry without any discrimination. The people would only believe his words when he succeeds to net a really big fish.