Two ministers stand to gain from Musharraf-Benazir deal


Islamabad : Two ministers charged with corruption as well as a number of politicians and officials stand to benefit from Friday’s promulgation by President Pervez Musharraf of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), the result of a deal he worked out with Benazir Bhutto to withdraw corruption cases against her.

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Federal home minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and Water and Power Minister Liaqat Jatoi, who are charged with corruption, stand to gain from the ordinance.

The two are among those who switched sides to join the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim league (Qaid) and received ministerial posts.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has pursued corruption cases within the country and in Swiss and British courts in Bhutto’s case, is planning to withdraw 507 cases of corruption worth millions of dollars.

The cases have been filed and pursued against various politicians, government servants, businessmen, and ex-armed forces officers, the Daily Times said Saturday.

Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said that the amnesty which pardons corruption during 1986 to 1999, could benefit several important politicians and former government servants.

Other beneficiaries include former communication minister Azam Khan Hoti and former senator from North West Frontier Province Javed Iqbal Abasi.

Sources said that the NAB had filed almost 1,190 cases in the courts, of which the decisions were reached in 683 cases with 465 people being convicted and 126 getting acquitted.

They said NAB investigation officers across the country have been ordered to file details of the cases pending with them.