Peshawar: NAB barred from arresting NGO officials
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court here on Thursday restrained National Accountability Bureau, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, from arresting three Pakistani employees of an American NGO, suspected of misappropriating funds of USAID meant for Federally Administered tribal Areas.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel put on notice NAB and directed that in the meantime the three petitioners should not be arrested.
The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by a director of the NGO Shelidia Associates, Engineer Qazi Litafatur Rehman, and two other employees.
The NAB has started inquiry against two US–based NGOs, Shelidia Associates and Academy for Educational development (AED), after it received complaints about misuse and misappropriation of funds under the US-funded Livelihood Development Pro-gramme (LDP) meant for Fata.
Barrister Syed Mudassir Amir appeared for the petitioners and argued that NAB by starting the said inquiry had overstepped its jurisdiction and powers.
Presently the post of chairman NAB had been vacant for the last many months, he said. He argued that under National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, only the chairman had the authority to award sanction for starting an inquiry.
He contended that NAB had been trying to falsely implicate his clients in the case. He contended that USAID had started several development projects in Fata which were executed through LDP.
He said that several contractors had been assigned the task in that regard and certain US NGOs were also included in the process.
Barrister Mudassir added that USAID stopped funding to a road construction project in Fata when it was near completion. He argued that the petitioners had nothing to do with funding of the project and their only responsibility was to supervise it.