ISLAMABAD - Dramatic death of Kamran Faisal has forced NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bukhari to wait for an appropriate time to proceed against Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and fifteen other defendants to implement Supreme Court’s 14 January orders in rental power plants case.
Although none of the two NAB’s spokesmen were available for their input about progress in implementation the apex court order, knowledgeable sources told The Nation that NAB chief has directed his investigators to wait for an ‘appropriate time’. According to them, NAB was quietly working on the case and waiting for PM’s quitting his office by March 16.
“NAB is proceeding according to the Supreme Court order by following extra cautions to ensure these orders are implemented in letter and spirit,” official sources said requesting not to be named. They said NAB officials were not sitting idle but doing their job.
However, following the tragic death of bureau investigator Kamran Faisal the work is being done quietly and with greater responsibility. “The matter is being handled with utmost care. It has become a more serious issue after the apex court charged the NAB chairman with contempt of court proceedings,” sources said.
The Supreme Court on January 14 ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and other respondents in the Rental Power Plants case, and gave 24 hours deadline to the authorities to implement the orders. The court maintained that NAB would be responsible if any of the respondents manage to escape.
The chief justice ordered that action should be taken against all the accused regardless of their status and they be arrested. The court warned that if anyone of them left the country, NAB chairman will be held responsible along with his investigating team.
PM Ashraf was given the title of Raja Rental after he was accused of receiving kickbacks in the rental power projects. He was also accused of buying property in London from money gained through corruption, and he has been defending himself in the Supreme Court.
On March 30, the court directed the NAB to proceed against those who were in the post of minister for water and power from 2006 till the next general elections. As a result, on April 20, NAB issued arrest warrants for 33 persons, including the then Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Earlier last year, the court directed NAB to proceed against all government functionaries involved, including the ministers for water and power during whose tenure the RPPs were approved or set up, and the minister and finance secretary holding charge when down payment for RPPs was increased from 7% to 14%. Liaquat Jatoi and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf were water and power ministers in 2006 and 2008, respectively, while Shaukat Tareen was the finance minister in 2008, when down payment was increased.
Of the 19 RPP deals signed initially, only nine were allowed to function after a damning Asian Development Bank evaluation report. Subsequently, six of those nine RPPs were discontinued.
The country’s anti-corruption body claims to have recovered billions of rupees in various corruption cases and believes that ratio of corruption in the government deportments was gradually declining largely because of the Supreme Court’s strict monitoring of the cases related to corruption.