Backlog of cases: Pakistan's NAB blames ex-PM Gilani

Islamabad - National Accountability Bureau has a backlog of 1,179 cases in addition to 18,819 fresh complaints it received in 2014.

By Afzal Khan

Published: Mon 3 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 3 Aug 2015, 8:32 AM

The National Accountability Bureau has conceded that its operations were adversely affected when then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in his maiden speech in the National Assembly declared the organisation 'functus officio' (to close the office).
Giving reasons for a backlog of 1,179 cases in addition to 18,819 fresh complaints it received in 2014, the NAB said in a report submitted before the Supreme Court that the atmosphere of uncertainty that emerged after Gilani's statement prevailed for months and for all practical purposes the bureau's operations remained in a state of limbo and at a standstill.
Even a number of departments either delayed or stopped providing information to the NAB during that period, the report said.
The apex court is seized with a case relating to the NAB performance. In addition, the office of the NAB chairman remained vacant for four months in 2010, seven months in 2011 and six months in 2013. The National Accountability Ordinance 1999 vests all the powers in the office of the NAB chairman.
The report said the country's economic situation also forced the government to reduce the budgetary allocations to the NAB in 2008-09, affecting its operations and efficiency.
The bureau already working with much below the sanctioned strength suffered further blow because of expiry of contracts of a number of officers working on the NAB cases due to fund constraints.

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