NAB debunks fabricated TV report maligning its chairman
KARACHI: News One, a private news channel, was left red-faced and had to tender a public apology after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) denied a story aired by the channel showing a purported conversation of the NAB chairman with an unnamed woman.
The NAB rejected in a statement the report about NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, saying that all such reports are baseless, contrary to facts, fabricated and part of a false propaganda.
“This is work of a group of blackmailer, who want to tarnish reputation of NAB and its chairman. Disregarding all the pressure and blackmailing, NAB has not only arrested two members of the group but also approved a reference against them,” said a handwritten statement issued on Thursday night.
The videos were aired by News One TV channel Thursday evening without any version from the NAB chairman or any other officials. However shortly after airing the videos, the channel backtracked and pulled them off air.
The channel admitted that it had not done due diligence and therefore needed further substantiation regarding the videos. The channel management also apologised for any inconvenience caused to the NAB chairman.
News One channel had also announced it would air more videos involving the NAB chairman and would also bring on air the lady who had allegedly made accusations against him. However, despite making this announcement the channel did not present any further material on the issue and removed the story after an apology.
NAB said there are a total of 42 FIRs registered against members of the racket in different parts of the country. “The group is involved in blackmailing, kidnapping for ransom, scamming and looting of billions of rupees from government servants as well as private individuals by impersonating FIA personnel and NAB has evidence in this regard,” it said.
It said the report was a tactic to escape a NAB reference through blackmailing. According to the statement, the kingpin of the group, Farooq, is currently incarcerated at Kot Lakhpat Jail.
“News One [the channel that aired the audio-video clips] has also withdrawn its report and tendered an apology to the NAB chairman for causing him inconvenience,” it added.
The statement surfaced after the TV channel claimed it was disclosing the country’s ‘biggest scandal’. The channel later said ‘some elements’ of its report were ‘contrary to evidence’.