Internal revolt in NAB against chairman
By: Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: It is not a mini revolt but it is massive by any standard as 80 officers of the NAB have rejected the decisions of their chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bukhari and have approached the Islamabad High Court against the appointments that he has made, or is in the process of making.
In their petition filed before the IHC, the 80 deputy directors, assistant directors and junior investigation officers of the NAB have raised their voice against what they call the illegal practices followed by the NAB under Bukhari to make appointments.
This in-house rebellion against the conduct of NAB chairman is in addition to the haunting disadvantages that Bukhari is already facing. His appointment as NAB chairman became controversial on the very first day when the opposition leader rejected him and challenged the same in the Supreme Court.
Later, instead of silencing his critics through his performance, and independent and fair accountability, Bukhari invited more criticism for turning a blind eye to the government’s corruption and offering friendly prosecution of NRO cases in favour of influential accused. No less than the Supreme Court reprimanded the old man for protecting the corrupt.
Now his 80 juniors have knocked the doors of the Islamabad High Court, which last week while hearing a case had barred the NAB from any final order of appointments against the advertised posts till the next date of hearing.
In their petition filed before the IHC, these 80 officers of the NAB have contended that they were entitled to be considered for promotion but the posts, against which they were to be promoted, have been ‘illegally’ advertised by the NAB.
They added the method of appointment and qualification has been laid down in the NAB rules but the method adopted by the NAB for future appointments is contrary to these rules.
The NAB under Bukhari is accused of not following the laid down rules and procedures in appointments. The NAB is alleged to have been involved in massive illegal appointments of favourites and ex-servicemen in violation of its own SOPs and without getting the mandatory NOC from the GHQ.
The NAB law mandates the bureau to proceed against those involved in illegal appointments but in this case there is no one to probe the state’s top anti-corruption apparatus for the alleged crime it is committing so blatantly. Here the question arises if the NAB can proceed against its own chairman for the alleged illegal appointments. It is said that scores of officers have already been appointed by the NAB chairman during his tenure on pick and choose basis in violation of the NAB’s own SOPs.
It is interesting to note that the NAB, in the past, was filing references against different public office holders on the ground of making illegal appointments. The convicted and recently removed prime minister Yusaf Raza Gilani, too, had to spend seven years behind the bars whereas Nawaz Sharif is facing an inquiry in the NAB Rawalpindi for alleged illegal induction in the FIA.
For appointments against seniors posts, it is alleged that only favourites of important people in the government and Bukhari’s benefactors are being appointed.In their petition, Bukhari’s juniors alleged that the NAB has already made illegal contract appointments without advertisement by favouring their blue-eyed persons. These young NAB officials noted in their petition that the blatant misuse of authority by the respondents had been defined and termed as an offence even under the NAB Ordinance.
“Unfortunately, the people who are charged with the responsibilities to apprehend culprits for the said offence are themselves committing the same,” the petition said, adding the NAB is supposed to be the most transparent and model organisation, bringing no wrong to anyone and justice and fair play to everyone before them.