Each year 9th December is globally observed as International Anti-Corruption Day to highlight its devastating impact on socio-economic development of the member countries and to create awareness against it . Basically, corruption is a social malice that can be seen anywhere and is like a tumor, aggressively spreading in public life. It breeds injustice, which ultimately results in collapse of a nation and society if not cured. In other words corruption is a serious crime that undermine the social and economic norms of the societies and affects the countries around the world. So its fighting is a global concern. Thus the significance of this day is increasing over time as the general public is getting more and more mindful of its repercussions.
NAB being the focal agency of Pakistan under United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is determined to weed out this scourge of corruption and to make Pakistan Corruption free. However, corruption is a complicated social phenomenon, which cannot be fought by employing a narrow singular approach of enforcement as it would fail to yield any results. Similarly, it would be impractical to expect a single agency to do the job on its own without complete support of society. So NAB being the apex anti-corrutpion agency and mandated to eliminate corruption, corrupt practices, is operating through a three pronged strategy of Awareness, Prevention and Enforcement. In order to eradicate this evil from society, it has consistently engaged all stakeholders and is incessantly combating this national menace with unflinching resolve through its multi-pronged strategy, which has started yielding remarkable results.
In addition, NAB has played a role of torch bearer for other anti-corruption organizations by putting a maximum limit of 10 months for expeditious disposal of – white-collar crime cases. In order to discourage money laundering; it has established “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML & CFT) Cell”. This shows the Bureau’s commitment and compliance towards resolution of international community. NAB is also the founding Chairman of the SAARC Anti-Corruption Forum and is a role model for SAARC countries. It is also pointed out that due to its strong resolve against corruption, the Bureau’s endeavours have been appreciated and endorsed by different reputed national and international organizations like PILDAT, Mishal Pakistan, Transparency International, World Economic Forum that testifies people’s confidence and trust upon NAB’s performance. Similarly, having confidence in the impressive performance & integrity of NAB, China has also signed an MoU with NAB to watch over CPEC projects being undertaken in Pakistan.
Under Section-33 of NAO, 1999, NAB is mandated awareness and prevention. Under NAB’s Awareness and Prevention Strategy, NAB has engaged different Governmental, Non-Governmental Organizations, media, Civil Society, and other segments of society to join hands with NAB’s awareness and prevention drive to create awareness among the people, especially the youth, Universities/Colleges and schools students. In this regard an MoU with HEC has also been signed by NAB to create awareness among students against corruption as youth is considered a cutting edge in this fight.
The enormous influx of complaints in NAB and the growing awareness among the masses against corruption proves the fact that NAB has become a symbol of “Neutral Writ of State”. Due to this effective three pornged anti-corruption strategy, NAB since its inception till 2019 has recovered an amount of Rs. 466 billion while in the current year, it recovered Rs. 248.186 billion. Beside this, currently 1247 references are under process in Hon’ble Accountability Courts. In addition, NAB’s conviction ratio is about 61 percent, which is one of the best conviction ratios as compared to other sister organizations.
On the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day, I promise to turn NAB into one of the best anti-Corruption agencies in the world. The principle of “zero tolerance”, “accountability for all” and “self-accountability” would be strictly adhered to in the overall working of NAB. As Chairman National Accountability Bureau, I invite all stakeholders, particularly the government, civil society, and media, to come forward and join the Bureau in developing a society free of corruption and to make Pakistan a prosperous nation.