ISLAMABAD: Following the Islamabad court directives, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) executive board decided Friday to investigate multiple allegations against Pakistan’s last military ruler, retired General Pervez Musharraf.
The chief allegations under probe are “wrongful use of power” and “holding assets beyond means.”
The decision follows this week’s statement of Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal, chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances and NAB chief, that as many as 4,000 Pakistanis were “secretly handed over” to foreign countries, during Musharraf’s rule while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights.
“How could someone secretly hand over the Pakistani nationals to any other country?” asked Iqbal, describing the actions illegal, unlawful and a violation of human rights.
Claims that Musharraf holds assets beyond his declared income source and that the ex-President, who held the position of Pakistan’s army chief simultaneously following the 1999 bloodless coup, misused his absolute power are accusations leveled by a retired military lawyer Lt. Col. Inamur Rahim.
Rahim in 2014 filed a petition at Islamabad High Court (IHC) to order NAB to investigate Musharraf. He asserts the former military ruler turned politician, during his nine-year reign, violated his oath to defend Pakistan and protect its people by selling Pakistanis for profit to western countries under the pretext of terrorism – a confession Musharraf has written in his memoir ‘In the Line of Fire’ under chapter ‘Man Hunt’, he pointed.
However, Mahreen Malik Adam, spokesperson for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), told Arab News that the assertions as “baseless” and “exaggerated” but explained that those extradited were foreign terrorists, not Pakistanis.
The retired General who faces multiple court cases is also accused of incepting the corrupt practice of awarding precious land to ranking army officers over their entitled benefits.
APML Spokesperson told Arab News that the party would challenge the allegations after consulting with the leadership. It’s unclear whether Musharraf, who resides in UAE, will return anytime soon to participate in campaigns for the run-up to the 2018 general elections this year with odds stacked against him in the court of law.
In February, the IHC empowered NAB through an unprecedented judgment clarifying a 19-year old ambiguity in the 1999 National Accountability Ordinance to investigate retired personnel of the armed forces, previously thought impossible credited to another initiative of Rahim to hold former top brass accountable for illegal actions.
“In the light of the above discussion retired General Pervez Musharraf is amenable to be proceeded under the [NAB] Ordinance of 1999 and thus investigated, tried or convicted thereunder because of two eventualities; firstly, for having held the Constitutional post of the President of Pakistan and secondly, clause (vi) of section 5(m) of the Ordinance of 1999 is attracted because he had resigned and stands retired from the Armed Forces of Pakistan,” read the judgment order.
NAB Spokesman in a press statement sent to Arab News informed that the apex anti-corruption organization’s executive board has also ordered enquiries against former and incumbent officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA), Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA), Pakistan Railways including Bank of Punjab President, a Pakistani diplomat, and prominent leader of Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q).