The NAB Diaries – Part Two

Guest Post by Amer Nazir

Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here

Part One has already been published by Teeth Maestro last week and which was subsequent to a letter written by me to the Chairman NAB requesting for either his resignation or else for him to justify NABs actions by making the details of this case public. A continued silence from him can only confirm that integrity is not a requirement in Pakistan for the role of Chairman NAB. And that NAB does not have any right to hold accountability since it is corrupt itself…

The other objectives of these diaries are also straight forward. One only needs to read the local and International press to realize that the army is yet being made to seem as a better option. Corruption by the politicians is cited as the reason. The third and the most important consideration, the common man, is never brought into the equation. The debate remains between the army and the politicians almost as if the thought of such a comparison was appropriate… The issues most under discussion are nuclear weapons and terrorism, the common man still does not figure as much…

In a civilized society a single miscarriage of justice that concerns a common man is highlighted as much as the news of a celebrity. Prime Ministers are made accountable, systems are changed, it does not matter whether it is Labour which is in power or the conservatives, the fundamental principles of governance reign supreme.

It is not the manifesto of the political parties that alone will change Pakistan. The common stories by common Pakistanis can also force whoever is in power to take notice. As it is, the most damaging legacy of the last eight years is that the world has been made to believe that the general Pakistani public is irresponsible, illiterate, corrupt and almost inhuman and therefore needs special treatment. The concept of Human Rights is out rightly rejected… It is therefore now time to tell the world the actual state of affairs that, which Benazir, Nawaz and the Chaudhrys may not be able to tell… Musharaff will definitely not…

It is hoped that similar stories will appear more and more to force the world to re-think to take the most important party in Pakistan into consideration… Failing this, governments will come and go but nothing will change. We will always remain at the mercy of whoever may be ruling us…

They seem strange. The NAB offices. I was repeatedly summoned to the ones at Karachi and Lahore. Both share an ambience, the charade is same as well, only buildings and cities differ.

A NAB setup is incomparable. It is unique. If the spirit underlying a court of law is justice for instance this is not what NAB proposes. There is a vast difference between Justice and Accountability. One boasts the number of reliefs it grants, the other the number of convictions. The first bases its outlook on the rule of law, the other on self-righteousness. One is focused on the means towards an end, the other solely on the end itself.

Both the Karachi and the Lahore NAB offices are housed in large complexes. The one at Lahore was a palace once and takes lead in terms of grandeur, its rightful owners having abandoned it to cross over to India at the time of partition, and it seems as if it is ill-fated to this day. However, irrespective of the architectural arrangements the procedure to receive an accused is standard at every NAB location. They are told at the main entrance to deposit their identity cards, mobile phones and other personal effects in boxes placed at the reception. In return one is given a slip that has to be signed by the summoning officers. Failing which there is no way to leave the NAB premises. In other words, an unsigned visitor slip is nothing short of an arrest warrant that does not care for any legal formalities. The best place to locate an accused nay to imagine him otherwise would then be in the prison that each NAB office has within its compound… The procedure speaks for itself. It is a cruel design. No one entering a NAB office can be sure whether he will return within the hour or after months or even years and that too if he is lucky.

And if this is not overwhelming enough, before entering the main office block, an unavoidable glance at the prisoners taking their daily walk in the veranda of the adjacent block achieves the rest the sight being only a bit less spectacular than the image of an orange suit at Guantanamo Bay which we are now so much used to seeing that it has stopped having an impact.

On entering the office block, the scene however changes dramatically. One can see serving and retired defence officers going about their business, darting in and out of corridors as if in a normal office. All have an executive smile on their lips, and certain gentleness in their manner. A game of make-belief seems to be the best way to describe the atmosphere. Each officer behaves as if he is a cross between an International corporate attorney from whom no anomaly has ever slipped unnoticed and a Wall Street broker that can unravel the most crooked balance sheet that may exist and yet they are a different lot altogether once behind closed doors, during interrogations, this is when they reveal their full glory and are most brave.

One can imagine some of the more distinguished accused to have even found it amusing. The behind-doors behaviour of the officers is predictable and is becoming of them but the acquired demeanour of cool corporate executives is too artificial and surreal. In my case, the officers somehow reminded me of my House Master at Hasanabdal who was bad news even when he smiled. One could not be sure. There could follow either a congratulatory pat on the back or a resounding slap on the face each being as predictable as the other. Though, the smile would remain undisturbed. The logic behind either of the two actions could not be challenged either. Each was backed by authority.

To add to the atmosphere, a yet another distinctive characteristic of a NAB office is the presence of a chart on each officers desk which states both the latest number of cases taken up so far and the latest number of convictions. Designed like a desk calendar, the chart stands upright and glares at each and every visitor. NABs declared objective is hundred percent results a conviction for each case. The two numbers are therefore brought close at the slightest pretext. A conviction spreads a feeling of relief amongst the staff whose careers might be on line… A stinker is issued if a case does not result in conviction.

Colonel Abbasi (retd) was the officer assigned to my case. I was to learn later that it was a special privilege since apart from his other qualifications he was also the first cousin of Brigadier Abbasi the over all in charge of the investigation department.

It was common for Colonel Abbasi to summon me and interrogate me for hours. He had actually stopped asking questions after the first interrogation that had lasted for nine hours. Now, he only threatened. I will put you through so much mental and physical torture that you will not survive, he would say. Even if the alphabets N.A.B are carved on a tree this means that that particular tree is destined to whither and die…

During the first interrogation he had asked where I had hidden the money and I had demanded to be told how much was missing in the first place. On this he had advised me not to act smart if I wanted to avoid spending the rest of my life in a dark cell… I have audits reports from several auditors, I had added. His prompt reply was that he will soon get the auditors as well… After nine hours, once it was time for the Colonel to go home he asked me if there was a solution to this… Imagine an accused being asked for a solution… I quietly said that I will leave the country forever if the PIA Captains returned my assets… and equally surprising was the fact that the Colonel also quietly said that he will communicate this to his superiors…

I am going to the civil court, I told him once. That may only happen if you ever survive NABs tentacles, was the answer. The chances of your surviving NAB do not seem very bright…they never are…

I am going to the civil court, I told him once. That may only happen if you ever survive NABs tentacles, was the answer.By this time, I could not afford to pay the house rent and had shifted to my sisters flat. My cars were also taken away by the leasing company, the Managing Director of which was my friend and neighbour. I had offered him a solution but confiscating the cars by sending armed men at my sisters place to add to the eighty percent already paid on the cars was more feasible. It meant more profit for his company. Through out, my name remained on the Exit Control List of course. And all this time, my wife and daughters were alone in London, they would have been totally forsaken had it not been for the support of the British government.

They were yet better off. In Pakistan, my telephone was taped, and there was every day a new rumour that the PIA captains had arranged for me to be picked up any day. The propaganda was relentless. It continued for the next three years. All my staff was also summoned to the NAB offices and asked to furnish my weak points… Did I drink? Was I ever seen with a woman other than my wife…? Am I known to gamble at the tables? The auditors were also summoned and offered a leeway if they were to disown their audits… Instructions were sent to each and every bank and housing authority within the country to furnish details of assets that I may own whether there was anything undisclosed. In the meantime I was made to sign on documents which stated that if any discrepancy in my statements was ever discovered it would automatically mean five years imprisonment without the possibility of bail or appeal and which is according to NAB laws ratified through an ordinance. It is a standard term for providing misleading information to NAB…

I managed somehow. I believed in Divine Justice. Yet there were times when the pressure would be overbearing and I would escape to Lahore although I was told not to travel without prior permission. Sleeping every night with the thought that they could come anytime, more so at the time of dawn, does get to a person after some time.

During one of the visits to Lahore, through a civilian friend who was working in NAB, I was approached by a certain Colonel Asif. He seemed to be a nice man who informed me that he was the head of NABs counter-intelligence. According to him, both Brigadier and Colonel Abbasi were doing this at the behest of the PIA Captains although my case was not within NABs jurisdiction. To me, this did not come as great surprise since Brigadier Abbasi belonged to the Aviation corps.

Colonel Asif promised me relief if I was brave enough to go through his plan. He took me to an ISI safe house in Garden Town where I was met by a civilian ISI officer named Zohair. A recording device was then attached to the phone, and I was made to call Colonel Abbasi in Karachi. I asked Abbasi if there was any way for me to get off the hook. I said that I could not take the punishment anymore. Colonel Abbasis reply was recorded. He said that this was only possible if I were to seek forgiveness from the PALPA board and to not make any demands for my assets. Moreover, it was also expected of me to leave Pakistan for good once my name was taken off the ECL. The last demand was easy to understand. PALPA would not have been able to justify my being a free man. On the other hand, telling its community that I had absconded from the country was the best possible solution.

Both Colonel Asif and Zohair were excited. Asif congratulated me and asked me to await his next instruction. He said that before taking the next step he had to at first brief his chief and acquire his blessing… The next morning however, Asif sent me a message from Islamabad. He said that he had seen my file only now and that my case was much more serious than he had thought… and perhaps it was out of sympathy that he also disclosed the information that Colonel Abbasi was already in knowledge of the taping…

I think what saved me from being picked-up, whether judicially or extra-judicially, was the fact that my wife and daughters were British. Another reason could be the internal politics within NAB. Some officers did not agree with what was going on…

The companies during this time were in doldrums. I was still the Chief Executive and fifty percent share holder. It was because of this that I was now summoned to the NAB offices in Karachi. The Vigilante captains were there. And then right there, at the NAB offices, I was given an offer. I was to sell my equity at a price of 10 million. Earlier the captains had offered me more than 45 million for fifty percent of my share holding to which I had reluctantly agreed. As per PriceWaterHouseCoopers the value of my shares was four times more. But subsequently the Captains had refused to honour their commitment although we had put our signatures to it…

However, the stance of the vigilante captains was the same as before. I was to either take the now decreased offer and that too in 12 instalments or else face dire consequences. In reply, I told the captains to stuff their offer and turning towards Colonel Abbasi I asked if I was allowed to go home. He said that I could leave but that only God can now save me from a terrible fate…

The next day I filed cases of recovery and defamation in the courts of Lahore and Karachi against the PIA captains… Colonel Abbasi was furious. He made it a point to summon me to NAB each time there was a court hearing…

Up to then, I was averse to approaching the high and mighty that I personally knew. I was still under the illusion that NAB would be forced to do justice once it would realize that I could not be scared into submission. But now I approached Lt General Qadir Baluch who was Governor Baluchistan at the time and with whom I had played golf at the Karachi Defence Golf Club in the past.

Sitting in his bedroom at the Baluchistan House, General Qadir only looked up once I had finished telling my story. Why did you not come to me earlier? He said. You had a lovely home, a nice family, why did you let them destroy everything, why did you take one full year to reach me?

General Qadir then asked the operator to get Brigadier Abbasi on the phone and once connected he patiently heard the Brigadiers side of the story. Only one question Abbasi, the General spoke half an hour later, Why did you offer to drop the cases against him if he were to sell his shares cheaply. What was the reason? And what has stopped you from putting him in the jail if he is such a big crook…?

And this was when Brigadier Abbasi started to stammer. In response the General became abusive. Abbasi, have some fear of God, he said. How much more are you guys going to compromise the uniform…? And before slamming the phone the General said that he will talk to the President next day.

However, a few minutes later, there was a call from DG NAB, Major General Ijaz Bukshi. General Qadir took the call in the other room but seemed very angry when he returned. Bukshi will see you in a few days, he said to me. And then after a few minutes silence the General remarked that all this was being done on the instruction of Chairman NAB Lt General Munir Hafeez…

Major General Bukshi came from around his desk to shake my hand a few days later. An ashen faced Brigadier Abbasi sat in front of the Generals desk. General Bukshi seemed more like an English Man. English medium type as we used to call them in our younger days…

The General came to the point at once. He profusely apologized for all that had happened to me and enquired if I wanted to have my business back. I replied that all I wanted now was to get my share of the money and leave the country for some time at least. At that Bukshi looked at Abbasi and came near to swearing. Addressing him he said, If people ever find out how NAB is being used to settle personal scores they will even refuse to spit on us…

Bukshi then gave instructions for 15 million to be transferred in my account within the next few days he said that this was the best he could do for me at the moment. Surprisingly however, Brigadier Abbasi still had the courage to object. The captains managing the PALPA board will never agree to pay him anything, he said. In case they were to pay him even a dime their community will take them to task. Now that the business has been closed down the community will demand to know why the PALPA office bearers had lied to them and had allowed Two hundred million to go down the drain… PALPA has got to have some face saving, he continued. Up to now, they are promising their community that the entire investment will be recovered once the properties of the accused have been confiscated.

And then suddenly, for the second time that week, I heard Brigadier Abbasi being mercilessly abused. The expletives having ended, General Bukshi told Brigadier Abbasi to deposit the money in my account no matter how and to strike my name off the ECL…

That day, I came out of NAB and started my packing. I also rang up my daughters in London and told them I was on my way.

Three days later, General Qadir was asked to resign by President Musharaff for some political reasons.

General Bukshi refused to see me again. Brigadier Abbasi denied that there ever was any settlement when contacted on my behalf by an army officer. Who will believe his words against that of a General and a Brigadier? was his famous reply.

A few weeks later, I and my wife, as she was also a Director in the group, were both named as accused in the forex fraud cases that had recently taken the country by storm. A warrant for arrest was issued in my name by the Security Commission of Pakistan. The state bank and the FIA were also actively involved in this case although the main lead was retained by NAB.

I or my wife had never traded in Forex. The only possible connection we had with Forex was that the forex cases were also being headed by Brigadier Abbasi…

Part One of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here
Part Three of the ‘The NAB Diaries’ can be read here


11 responses to “The NAB Diaries – Part Two”

  1. Naveed Avatar

    Hell with NAB. Who cares about it anymore? The only person with some character, to head it so far has been Gen Shahid who refused to dance to the tune of dictator and thereforetrue resigned. Rest all have been faithful to the dictator and his pets. The strange thing about the generals in army is this that they are not loyal to the country rather more loyal to their boss who is capable of giving them favours in the form of plots/posts/transfers and post retirement benefits.

    Forget about the NAB now since it has lost all credibility years ago. No educated / sensible man has any trust in this notorious body formed to serve the mdictator’s political agenda. Being another big burdon upon us, the tax payers, we must get rid of NAB as soon as possible.

  2. binary-zero Avatar

    we all can wish – if we could somehow change this system at all.

  3. amernazir Avatar

    Naveed shb,

    You are absolutely right – but we have to care about NAB. I survived, there are many who dont…every day…

    They have to be exposed. Once, finished with the four parts, the entire diaries ( along with evidences) are going to be sent to each and every global organisation with whom NAB has been trying to forge alliances. It will also be sent to each and every government, NGO, Human Rights Organisations etc etc…there are activities planned on this in London…

    We have to destroy this ‘Holier than thou’ approach of the army once and for all and set a trend so that the common people can then question other departments as well…

    We can all work to ensure that this false impression of the army generals is shred into pieces – that they are professional and honest…what a lie…

    Thanks for your kind support.
    Amer Nazir

  4. M. Fahim (H/W 25) Avatar
    M. Fahim (H/W 25)

    Hello Amer,

    Very sad to hear of your situation. Some of us Abdalians would like to get in touch with you. Will you be kind enough to email me at I am from CCH 25th entry.

    Kind Regards,


  5. Ali Avatar

    What a country …. Even this article is ‘illegal’ as its anti army. Musharraf has succeeded in taking us back 20 years. Such events only reaffirm my belief in the hereafter, that is, how can someone do so much bad and get away without being punished.

  6. Oasis Avatar

    In Pakistan no one will help you if youre on the receiving end of the military law. Not the courts. Not the press. Not anyone.

  7. democrat Avatar

    I have read the article.I would like to comment that if we want to live and survive in the modern world as nation,then,some sort of anti-corruption organ of the state be it NAB OR ELSE is a great contribution of NAB is that it has brought courrpt people to justice.Although there might be some mistakes by the organization in the handling of the cases by one or two officers but it does not mean that whole organization be winded up and packed away.As a young nation we need to evolve our every department of the state.But this is not the manner that we malign our own institution in the world organizations.More and more civilian officers are joining NAB and it heartening to see it as such.Long live Pakistan and its budding institutions.

  8. amernazir Avatar

    Dear Democrat,

    The entire story is being narrated – the attitudes, each event…
    It is for people to decide whether such attitudes and processess is what the nation wants… whether these are the foundations on which a country’s institutions should be built…

    And, you do have an interesting name…’democrat’ God bless you…

  9. JinnahFan Avatar

    Hi Amer,

    your story is certainly interesting. I hate to question you, but because of the very system and its corruptness you have highlighted in this story, I am left wondering if I should take your word as the truth. I don’t mean to sound cynical and the fact that the military has abused their power to harass and profit is certainly believable by 100% of Pakistanis. However, I think your story would be much more credible if you a) publish some documentation, especially if you have it backed up by a firm such as PWC, etc, and b) if you post some sort of timeline which leaves out your human story and puts forth hard facts.

    Wish you the best.

  10. amernazir Avatar

    Dear JinnahFan,

    Thanks for your comment… you are right. However, I do also feel a bit dispointed in two ways. Firstly, I thought everyone will realize that what I describe is quite a norm – a logical consequence of the institutions we have in place. Secondly, this narration may not just help me personally but also other people… I just hoped that this spirit was a bit more evident…

    However, of course foolproof evidences are available and will be published soon with a timeline…


    Amer Nazir

  11. democrat Avatar

    Thanks for ur good wishes Mr.Amir.I pray that next time you are not Picked up by the NAB>………………..