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US calls for NAB help to ensure transparency

ISLAMABAD: The United States has sought assistance of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure transparency in utilisation of funds being provided to Pakistan through non-governmental organisations under the Kerry-Lugar Act, it is officially learnt.

US calls for NAB help to ensure transparencyPakistan will receive $1.5 billion annually for five years under the act. The bill also seeks to promote civilian control of Pakistani military institutions.

American leaders have been expressing concerns over the “possible misuse of funds” aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s economy.

And the concerns were formally conveyed to the government during a meeting between USAID officials, Daniel P. Altman and Charles D. Zimmerman, and NAB chairman Justice (retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah here on Thursday.

The US delegation discussed modalities for ensuring proper utilisation of the funds.

The officials said they had received a significant number of complaints about the misuse and misappropriation of funds by NGOs, also involving US nationals, and asked the NAB to keep an eye on them.

Mr Shah assured the US team of the bureau’s complete support for transparent use of the funds.

A senior NAB official, when contacted, was reluctant to disclose the names of NGOs pointed out by the US officials. “It is believed that they will stop operations if their names are made public,” he said.

The NAB chairman stressed the need for curbing corruption and taking action against those who cheated the public for personal gains.

It was decided that the USAID inspector general would hold a meeting with the NAB chief next month to further strengthen the cooperation.

A NAB spokesman said the bureau had decided to take prompt action on the complaints received against the NGOs dealing with US funds.

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