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Accountability

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'National Accountability Bureau' Index.1.jpg.gif‎

The National Accountability Bureau is Pakistan's apex anti-corruption organization. It is charged with the responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement. It operates under the National Accountability Ordinance-1999, with its headquarter at Islamabad. It has four regional offices in the provincial capitals and one at Rawalpindi. It takes cognizance of all offences falling within the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).

For the initial three years, the focus of its functions was directed only at detection, investigation and prosecution of white-collar crime. Those prosecuted include politicians, public service officials and other citizens who were either guilty of gross abuse of powers, or through corruption had deprived the national exchequer of millions or resorted to other corrupt practices. In February 2002, NAB launched the National Anticorruption Strategy (NACS) project. The NACS team conducted broad based surveys, studied external models of international anti-corruption agencies and involved local stakeholder. All pillars of National Integrity System were studied in detail. After identifying the causes of corruption in each pillar, a comprehensive strategy and a detail action plan was recommended. Breaking away from traditional enforcement based routines NACS has recommended a comprehensive process. Relevant amendments have been made in NAO and now NAB is empowered to undertake prevention and awareness in addition to its enforcement functions.

History

National Accountability Bureau is a Pakistani government agency, dealing with corruption. It was established on November 16, 1999 with the promulgation of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, immediately after the military coup by Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999.

Mission

"is to work to eliminate corruption through a comprehensive approach encompassing prevention, awareness, monitoring and combating."


The bureau has two principal officers: the Chairman; and the Prosecutor General of Accountability in Pakistan. The Chairman is the head of investigation, and serves a four-year term. Lt. Gen. Amjad Naqvi was the first chairman of the bureau. Lt. Gen. Munir Hafeez is the current chairman. The Prosecutor General is the head of prosecution, and serves a three-year term. Lawyer Irfan Qadir was the first Prosecutor General.

The bureau likes to stress that it recovered over two hundred and forty billion rupees (four billion US dollars) from corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. Human rights organizations have labeled the Bureau however as a vehicle for detaining former officials and party leaders [2] and a deviation from the normal justice system. The government continues to use the Bureau and a host of anti-corruption and sedition laws to keep in jail or threaten political opponents, particularly members of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League.

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