Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is a powerful anti-graft agency created by former army general Pervez Musharraf in 1999. The agency, which is currently headed by a retired general, has investigated and jailed prime ministers and other top political figures for corruption, using its own investigators, prosecutors, judges, and courts. While the agency’s mandate is to eliminate corruption, its unbridled powers have often been criticized, and there have been complaints that businessmen have also been investigated and tried. Under its current leadership, the agency has conducted over 4,700 investigations resulting in 1,190 convictions and 771 acquittals. The agency’s controversial powers led politicians from across the political spectrum to limit some of its powers in March of this year. Although the NAB has broad support for its mission to purge corruption from the country, some analysts say it hasn’t had much success in achieving this goal. Fear of NAB investigations has also led government officials to delay clearing projects.
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