Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China to oversee China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects being completed in the South Asian country.

Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, chief of the anti-graft watchdog, the agreement will streamline and boost cooperation in the fields of anti-corruption. “In the context of CPEC, this cooperation will further boost confidence in projects undertaken in Pakistan,” the NAB chairman said in a statement.

Today, more than 1210 corruption references of NAB are under trial in various respected accountability courts of the country and approximately total amount is Rs 900 billion, the statement added.

Considering corruption as cancer, Justice (r) Javed Iqbal said, NAB has chalked out a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy for logical conclusion of mega corruption white collar crimes cases by adopting the policy of ‘Accountability for All’ as the figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations are almost double as compared to the figures of the period between 2017 to 2018.

The comparative figures for the last one year from October 2017 to December 2018 are indicative of hard work being put in by all ranks of NAB officers in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where the fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty, the statement read.

Justice (r) Javed Iqbal said that NAB is committed to rooting out corruption in all its forms and manifestations across the board with iron hands.

He added that NAB has established a state-of-the-art forensic science lab in Islamabad which has facilities of digital forensics, questioned documents and fingerprint analysis which will be utilised for further improvements in the quality of inquiries and 

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On September 25, Pakistan and China inked a MOU to work jointly for ensuring transparency in CPEC.

On July 10, the NAB chief had said that the bureau would continue to play its role for saving CPEC and other important development projects from corruption.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship project of President Xi’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative involving a massive investment of over $60 billion in infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

Originally valued at $46 billion, the value of CPEC projects was worth $62 billion as of 2017.

The CPEC is intended to rapidly modernise Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones.