Pakistan’s Politicized Accountability Structure Compounds its Problems


Accountability to the public is key to legitimacy of any government in a democracy. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, accountability has been viewed as politicized and in the hands of the state.


Instead of investigating and prosecuting corruption and graft, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and all its predecessor organizations have “come to stand for underhanded tactics used to soil the reputation of bitter political opponents or those who have fallen afoul of the powers that be and ensnare them in endless and frustrating legal cases. “


With the appointment of former IB chief Aftab Sultan as new NAB chairman what needs to be seen is will the new introduce a culture of constant diligence and respect for due process and thus return credibility to the NAB? Mr Sultan, is “a well-regarded and considered a professional bureaucrat before his retirement as a BS-22 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan.”


Mr Sultan’s success will depend on his ability to “establish himself as an even-handed, unbiased head of an institution that has earned great notoriety for its repeated failures to act without prejudice.”



Author: Nadia Shaikh