Zarinjamal/ May 30, 2019/ News and Politics/ 2 comments

Meeting With Chairman NAB

Thursday 16 May 2019, Javid Chaudhry.

My first meeting with Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal, was held in 2006. At that time he was a Judge of the Supreme Court. I used to go to the house of Justice Rana Bhagwan Das. He would also go there and in this way I started meeting with him. After his retirement he became head of the Abbottabad Commission.

I received information those days that the Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sent Justice Javed Iqbal a cheque of 67 Lakh Rupees [6.7 Million Rupees], but the Justice sent this cheque back to him with a letter saying. “That entire country’s honour has been stained due to Abbottabad tragedy so I shall feel ashamed to receive the charges for this inquiry.” His respect was increased in my heart. Later on he was appointed Chairman NAB on 08 October 2017. During these 19 months’ period my meeting with him was scheduled on several occasions but it could not take place because of one pretext or the other. But finally I was able to see him on 14 May 2019.

When I reached his office at the NAB Headquarters, he was looking glad and in high spirits. I asked him, “Were your old assignments difficult or the current job?”. Justice Javed Iqbal responded. “It is more difficult because there is pressure from all sides but praise is to Allah I am able to deal with everything.” He said. “I have three daughters, and with Allah’s blessing all of them are settled in their respective homes. The knees of my wife have been operated. She watches TV all day and I get a reasonable amount of money and pension from the Supreme Court. I am living a comfortable life with this income”.

He said. “I am now 73 years old. I have no idea how long I am going to remain alive further but there is no issue at all.” When I asked him, “do you have any threats?” He instantly replied. “There are too many threats. A few months back our agencies tracked the call of two people; an influential person was asking another influential person to offer him five billion rupees; the other one replied he is not ready to accept money.”

“The first man said then scare him, the other one replied that we did try to scare him on many occasions; we even chased his car, we threatened to kill him, but he could not be scared. The first man then said okay then blow him up”. I asked, “who are those people?” The Justice replied, “I will let you know about this a few months later.” When I insisted he just told me that they are a joint venture of land grabbers and politicians. I said then “you should be careful”. At this the Justice replied. “I started being careful but being careful proved to be more dangerous than not being careful. The government gave me a house in the Ministers’ Colony, but this house was more dangerous than my own residence in Bahria Town.”

“After I was hardly able to renovate two of its rooms and just kept some of my files over there I had to go to Lahore. In my absence someone removed the back window fence of the house, entered the house, searched it and disappeared after stealing those files.” He paused for a while and I asked “did this incident take place in the Ministers Colony?” He laughed and said. “Yes in Bungalow No.29 of the Ministers Colony which is considered to be Pakistan’s safest place and despite taking the fingerprints, the Police could not reach the criminal. This was a warning for me, so I am no longer living in this house. Due to security reasons sometimes I live at my sister’s house, sometimes I go to my daughter’s house and sometime I live at my relative’s residence. I don’t disclose to anyone at which house I am going to spend which night. As a safety measure I also take my staff with me so that we are together and more in number. I asked him “who is the source of danger to you?” He said, “I don’t know but I feel that I’m now the target of everyone.”

“All these peoples are not ready to tolerate me.” I asked him, “is the present Government also not happy with you. He laughingly said, “they too are not happy with me”. They also want me to close down Imran Khan’s helicopter case, shutdown Babar Awan and, Haleem Khan’s references and stop Firdous Ashiq Awan’s inquiry and all the more halt Malam Jabba’s illegal lease inquiry initiated against Pervez Khattak. Pakistan People’s Party and PML-N leadership consider me as their enemy. Land grabbers are also against me and the state institutions are also not happy with me. Now all these together are not leaving any option to increase pressure on me”. I asked him, “when will the reference of Malam Jabba be filed and will Pervez Khattak be arrested?”

Justice Javed Iqbal responded with full confidence. “It is a matter of few days now, the reference is complete” you will see Parvez Khattak in the Lockup too soon”. He paused and said with a smile. “I am just worried about one thing; I’m just afraid of Pervaiz Khattak’s health. If he is arrested and something happened to him the NAB will get a bad name but despite this it will definitely happen, Malam Jabba’s reference is a strong one and Pervez Khattak will also be held accountable for his corruption.”

I asked him, “why did NAB just focus on Punjab?” He said, “Punjab is a big province”; Mian Brothers have ruled Punjab for over 30 years, so most of the mega cases took place in Punjab but it does not mean that we have left other provinces. Three former Chief Ministers of Balochistan (Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, Nawab Aslam Raisani and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri) have been facing inquiries and references against them”.

“When Nawab Aslam Raisani was called by NAB he said that ‘don’t you know I am the leader of my tribe’, I conveyed him the message through my officer, that the federal government gave you 990 Million Rupees [99 Crores Rupees] and you distributed this money among a few people. Your first check went in to your own brother’s bank account. If you want to prevent your arrest, you should refund this amount. Nawab Aslam Raisani asked us for three months’ adjournment which we gave him. If he does not return this money back within three months then he will also be arrested. We also did not spare any corrupt individual in Sindh. The Sindh Government and the bureaucracy were not cooperating with us. With Supreme Court’s orders Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s cases were transferred to Rawalpindi and Islamabad.”

“They are on bail; the day their bail is cancelled, both of them will also be arrested. References against them are very strong and solid. It’s just a matter of few days.” He paused and said. “The day Asif Ali Zardari presented himself for the inquiry, his legs and hands were shaking,” he asked for a cup of green tea which our officer offered him, Asif Ali Zardari picked up the cup but the cup was quivering in his hand, and he was forced to keep his second hand under the cup. He was able to finish the cup of green tea with great struggle. Perhaps due to being a woman Faryal Talpur may get some leniency, but Asif Ali Zardari will not be able to evade all this.”

He paused for a moment and said. “Mian Brothers issue is also simple and straightforward. We called Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law, Ali Imran and asked him why the Clean Water Company did paid you 48 Crores Rupees [480 Million Rupees] and why it was deposited in to your bank account? We also kept the proof in front of him. He said, “I had given my Plaza to the Clean Water Company on rent so it was rent money. We let him go home. I took a taxi at night and went to Ali Imran’s plaza. That Plaza was still under construction and water was being given to five concrete ceilings at that time. We again called Ali Imran the next day and asked him, “your Plaza is still under construction, it will not be completed even in three years, but why and how you have already received its rent? Ali Imran did not have any answer to this question. He went home and the very next day he ran away to Dubai.”

“We called and asked Salman Shahbaz, why billions of Rupees have been coming into your account from abroad, he said, give me a few days, I will have a word with my family and staff to submit a reply. We gave him time and he also fled to London. We have all the evidence against Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as well. I drafted Hamza Shahbaz’s questionnaire by myself. I started my career as a Session Judge and I have been the Senior Judge of the Supreme Court. I prepared this questionnaire in the light of my judicial background. They were hiding themselves behind the gentleness of Court but the bench has changed now As soon as their bail is cancelled they will be behind the bars provided they too have not run away from the country.” I asked him, “there is an impression about you that your axe only falls on the civilian side.” He replied with some discomfort, “I made the Royal Palm Golf Club reference against General Javed Ashraf in April 2018.”

He said. “He is a former DG, ISI. My colleagues tried to stop me, but I said to them, if we leave him then what is wrong with the bureaucrats and politicians! The retired military officers have also been named in Malir Development Authority’s case. We have also initiated inquiry against them and they will also go behind the lockup. I also got my own 43 Lacs Rupees [4.3 Million Rupees] trapped in DHA City. They people came to me with a cheque. I told them, you are not giving me this cheque. You are giving this cheque to Chairman NAB. I returned the check and said to them, first you return the money of other 1385 people and then give me a check in the end. Are they also civilians? If you come next time, I will put a list of non-civilian references in front of you, everybody is being held accountable in the country. We have not given any exception to any party and any department.” When I asked him “did they not try to buy you?” He laughed and said, “I was offered even to be made the President of Pakistan.” (See more tomorrow).

Note: To see the original column in Urdu language click here.

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2 Comments

  1. salaams Zarin sahib,
    its eye opener and well described interview.
    How and when was this interview recorded?

    Best wishes
    Naseer

    1. Wassalam Baig Sahib. This interview was published on 16th May 2019. It has so far been very contentious because the chairman nab has disowned some of its contents. It has been published in 2 parts last month. Both the parts are equally eye opener.
      Kind regards
      Zarin

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