Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Brigadier (retd) Musaddiq Abbasi as Advisor on Accountability and Admission to expedite the process of accountability.Musaddiq Abbasi, a former director general (DG) of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is considered a supporter of harsher punishments for corruption.
The decision by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government comes at a time when, according to a recent report by Transparency International, Pakistan's rankings have been downgraded and there has been no progress in the accountability process. Accountability Shahzad Akbar has had to resign from his post.
Musaddiq Abbasi has been appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in place of Accountability Advisor Shehzad Akbar. The Prime Minister was not happy with the failure to bring the cases against him to a logical conclusion.
Brigadier (retd) Musaddiq Abbasi hails from the Beirut area near Abbottabad and his father has been active in local politics. After enlisting in the Pakistan Army in 1974, he continued to serve in various capacities and retired after 30 years of service.
During the tenure of former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, he was appointed as Director NAB and continued to work as Director Records in Karachi.
In 2010, he was appointed Director General NAB Peshawar. The following year, in 2011, he was appointed Director General of Awareness and Counterintelligence in Islamabad, a position he held until his retirement. After retiring from the NAB, Musaddiq Abbasi had recently been working with a research and collection company as the director of the Accountability Lab.
Musaddiq Abbasi is said to be in favor of changing the NAB rules and wants to enact laws that would enable the courts to punish corrupt individuals. During his last tenure in the NAB, he also called for a public campaign against corruption in the NAB.
Brigadier (retd) Musaddiq Abbasi is facing many challenges after assuming the post of Accountability Advisor. The PTI government came to power with the slogan of providing justice and eradicating corruption and bringing back looted wealth from abroad was their main slogan but after three and a half years of rule, according to some experts, now So far, the government has not made any significant progress in this regard.
Imran Shafiq, a former NAB prosecutor, told VOA that the new accountability adviser has two goals, one at home and the other abroad.
He said his goal at home was to give the government suggestions on what legislation could be enacted to speed up the accountability process.
He further added that his goal abroad was to bring back the people who had fled Pakistan. The second is to bring back the looted wealth and the third is to make agreements with the countries where the looted wealth of Pakistanis lies. Only when these three goals are achieved can they be considered successful.
Imran Shafiq said that Shehzad Akbar was given the post of Accountability Adviser as well as Minister of State for Home Affairs for the same purpose in order to achieve all these goals using FIA and other agencies. He could not do that.
He said that no institution would be directly accountable to Musaddiq Abbasi as advisor. They can advise the Prime Minister on various matters but in practice the institutions will not be accountable to him. Shehzad Akbar had set up an Assets Recovery Unit in the Prime Minister's House but according to the decision given in the case of Justice Qazi Faiz Issa, this institution has no legal status. In such a situation, there is no legal way for Musaddiq Abbasi to expedite the process of accountability in Pakistan and bring back Pakistan's wealth from abroad.
Imran Shafiq said that in the absence of formal legislation, the appointment of Musaddiq Abbasi as Accountability Advisor would not make much difference.
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