ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and treasury members in the Upper House of the Parliament are not in favour of an ‘accountability resolution’ proposed by Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla and want to amicably resolve the matter involving cases against senators probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Business Recorder has learnt. The deputy chairman Senate has been advised not to go ahead with his plan to move the accountability resolution in Senate as any such move would be deemed anti-NAB, sources in Senate Secretariat told Business Recorder. “Chairman Senate is of the view that the forum of the Senate, the highest legislative house of the country, should not be used to create hostility with any state institution. Any resolution on accountability in the present circumstances, even if does not name NAB, will give the impression that lawmakers are using their parliamentary privilege to hide from accountability,” said a source on the strict condition of anonymity.
Sources said that chairman Senate Wednesday took up the issue of NAB cases against senators with the members of treasury benches and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar.
Although, the details of the meeting were kept classified, sources said the chairman Senate was briefed that senators or other opposition lawmakers were not alone in facing NAB cases and there were government functionaries who faced NAB cases and references were filed against them. Chairman Senate reportedly maintained that the government and NAB officials should address the reservations of senators in meetings and the issue should not be formally highlighted from the forum of Senate. It is still unclear whether deputy chairman Senate was convinced or whether he will still move an accountability resolution, if allowed by chairman Senate, in the Senate sitting scheduled on Friday.
In the Senate sitting on January 4, Mandviwalla requested chairman Senate that the motion against NAB, moved by 34 opposition senators, be referred to the relevant committee. However, chairman Senate did not refer the matter to any committee before he concluded the motion as talked out. “Deputy chairman has raised some issues. The deputy chairman, you and I will sit down and consider what action needs to be taken. NAB is our national institution we want to bring improvement in it,” Sanjrani had said while addressing Shahzad Akbar.
On January 11, Mandviwalla said that he still wanted to bring an accountability resolution in the House as, he said, both the treasury and opposition benches wanted accountability.
“If this agenda is not concluded for any reason, I will be forced to bring a resolution during this session,” he said at the Senate sitting. “I have no personal agenda. I want to bring an accountability resolution. Government wants accountability. We also want accountability. This resolution will be all about accountability,” he said.
Sanjrani responded, “Saleem sahib, I came to meet you but you were not available yesterday and the day before yesterday. Law minister came twice and PM’s advisor also came to discuss this issue. We will sit together and look for a way forward.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021