QUETTA: When an accountability court sentenced former Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Raisani to 10 years in prison in a mega corruption case on Tuesday, it was a real feather in the cap of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), especially Director Hafeez Siddiqui, who had led a team to arrest Balochistan Finance Adviser Khalid Lango and Finance Secretary Mushtaq Raisani in a mega corruption case.
In May 2016, the NAB arrested Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani and recovered recovered an unprecedented amount of Rs 650 million cash. Raisani was accused of embezzling billions of rupees from local government development funds. The NAB had recovered bags filled with local and foreign currency from Raisani’s residence. The NAB also sealed the finance department during the raid. Later, the NAB Quetta arrested a government contractor, Sohail Majeed, from Karachi for allegedly facilitating the crimes of Mushtaq Raisani and Khalid Lango. During investigations he confessed his guilt and returned more than Rs 1 Billion as plea bargain and stood convicted.
Besides the Raisani case, NAB Director Hafeez Siddiqui has also handled other mega corruption cases in the past, including the Faizaia housing scam, Bahria Town Karachi case, wherein the Supreme Court of Pakistan charged it with Rs 460 billion on the basis of a NAB investigation.
Recently, Sindh NAB DG Dr Najaf Quli Mirza, NAB Director Hafeez Siddiqui and NAB Deputy Director Salahuddin Mughal worked tirelessly to provide justice to over 6,000 victims of the Fazaia Housing Society scam. The housing scheme management and their partner Ch Tanvir Builder of Maxim Group surrendered before the NAB and agreed to refund claims of 6,000 affectees by paying more than Rs 16 billion to them with immediate effect. An amount of Rs 13.5 billion was taken over by the NAB by freezing their account at the outset of the inquiry besides arrests of high-profile accused. The swift and successful conclusion of a mega corruption case with a huge number of affectees and amount involved is unprecedented in the history of white collar crime investigations around the world. It happened due to efforts of the Karachi NAB, led by Director Hafeez Siddiqui, along with Deputy Director Salahuddin Mughal, under the supervision of Sindh NAB DG Dr Najaf Quli Mirza.
The NAB Karachi is working under the vision of NAB Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal, who chalked out a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy comprising awareness, prevention and enforcement under the “Accountability for All” policy, besides overhauling and perfecting working procedures to make the NAB a more credible and reputable organisation to eradicate corruption in all its forms and manifestations. The NAB chairman knew it fully well that the path ahead was extremely thorny and would require extraordinary determination and courage to tackle rampant corruption and misuse of authority, money laundering, assets beyond known sources of income and cheating the public at large in the highest echelons of power. He brought in a vision founded in his lifelong commitment to upholding the principles of justice, transparency, fair play on merit as per law during his illustrious and remarkable career as a session judge to acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, spanning more than four decades. Under the dynamic leadership of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, the NAB has recovered a staggering sum of Rs490 billion from corrupt elements directly and indirectly from 2018 to 2020, that no one previously had ever been able to accomplish since the establishment of the anti-corruption watchdog in 1999. Besides the recovery, the NAB has filed 1,269 corruption references in accountability courts.