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ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani Monday urged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to dispel the "perception of alleged harassment of traders and investors under the guise of accountability process" while NAB chief responded that "no one needs to be afraid of accountability process."

Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal called on Sanjrani at the Parliament House, according to a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat.

"Transparency and impartiality in the accountability process should be maintained in all cases and it should be ensured that the perception of alleged harassment of traders and investors under the guise of accountability process should be dispelled," the statement quoted Sanjrani as having told the NAB chief in the meeting.

"No one needs to be afraid of the accountability process. The agenda of the National Accountability Bureau is only to provide a conducive and corruption free environment for the development and prosperity of Pakistan," the chairman NAB said, according to the statement.

He presented NAB's annual report for the year 2020 to the chairman Senate.

The chairman NAB briefed the Senate chief that steps are being taken to make the accountability process "more transparent and effective in the country so that an impartial system of accountability can be established."

He said that 'positive suggestions' from parliamentarians, stakeholders and business community would be welcomed.

Sanjrani, according to the statement, said that eradication of corruption would provide a better environment to the business community which would boost trade and investment in the country.

In January this year, Senate met on a requisition moved by 34 senators, led by the then Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla, to take up motion against NAB for 'egregious human rights violations' and other serious allegations-like custodial deaths- levelled by Mandviwalla against NAB.

In the requisitioned session, the opposition senators delivered critical speeches against NAB but no concrete action was taken and the motion was simply talked out- in the 305th session of the Senate.

In the same month, NAB filed a reference against Mandviwalla in Plots Allotment case. The accountability watchdog is also probing Fake Accounts case against the former deputy chairman Senate.

On February 3, Ambassador of European Union (EU) to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara called on Mandviwalla, Senator Rana Maqbool from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the then senator Ayesha Raza Farooq from PML-N wherein the three lawmakers "raised the issue of deaths in NAB custody," according an official press release issued then. It was not clear how the EU envoy specifically responded to these allegations against NAB.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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