AVN 64.76 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BAFL 31.49 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (0.99%)
BOP 4.79 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.62%)
CNERGY 3.85 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
DFML 14.48 Increased By ▲ 0.48 (3.43%)
DGKC 41.65 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
EPCL 46.81 Increased By ▲ 0.51 (1.1%)
FCCL 11.33 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-0.61%)
FFL 5.06 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
FLYNG 5.82 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.34%)
GGL 10.46 Increased By ▲ 0.55 (5.55%)
HUBC 65.54 Increased By ▲ 1.34 (2.09%)
HUMNL 5.61 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
KAPCO 27.73 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.32%)
KEL 2.16 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.47%)
LOTCHEM 24.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.41%)
MLCF 21.51 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-1.56%)
NETSOL 84.61 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (0.37%)
OGDC 87.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.1%)
PAEL 11.00 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.46%)
PIBTL 4.19 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.95%)
PPL 75.35 Decreased By ▼ -1.43 (-1.86%)
PRL 13.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-0.95%)
SILK 0.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-3.26%)
SNGP 41.27 Decreased By ▼ -0.33 (-0.79%)
TELE 5.84 Decreased By ▼ -0.11 (-1.85%)
TPLP 15.62 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.06%)
TRG 111.84 Increased By ▲ 0.59 (0.53%)
UNITY 13.97 Increased By ▲ 0.13 (0.94%)
WTL 1.17 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (2.63%)
BR100 4,064 Increased By 18.2 (0.45%)
BR30 14,468 Increased By 34.8 (0.24%)
KSE100 40,734 Increased By 113.6 (0.28%)
KSE30 15,230 Increased By 59.4 (0.39%)
Follow us

EDITORIAL: For the second time President Arif Alvi on Monday returned unsigned the bill regarding amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance, approved by joint sitting of Parliament, saying the bill is “regressive in nature and it would promote corruption by ensuring that the long arm of the law is crippled.

” It also sends a message, he averred, to the corrupt who have amassed tremendous wealth, and about which there is no doubt in the minds of the people of Pakistan that they are not accountable and are free to continue to plunder [national wealth]. The coalition government leaders have accused the President of acting in a partisan manner. And as expected, former prime minister Imran Khan harshly criticised the amendments in a series of tweets starting by declaring “today is a black day in the country’s history as the imported government of crooks amended NAB law has taken effect, ending accountability of white collar criminals.”

There is no denying that most of the amendments are akin to those made by the PTI government in the NAB law through ordinances that lapsed because they were not ratified by parliament but there are some amendments that appear to benefit certain high profile personages facing proceedings in accountability courts.

Nonetheless, it needs to be acknowledged that any legislation that is made with a certain situation or case or personality in mind is inherently a bad law. It was introduced by military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf to punish elected politicians who had been in government before him and excluded those that were in the government of Gen. Ziaul Haq.

It was also used to pressurise members of the PML-N and the PPP to walk out of their political parties and join or coalesce with the PML-Q that was formed as the ‘king’s party’ to perpetuate the general’s rule. The fact though is also that the two civilian governments which succeed him did not do away with his mala fide construct.

The PPP government tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to water down the NAB law but only to the extent of providing relief to some of its own. It is worth noting that more than 90 percent cases of alleged corruption involving holders of high public office were initiated by the PPP and PML-N governments against each other.

They were okay with NAB as long as it served as their handmaiden, increasing or decreasing heat on the other side as and when required, with the result that the purported accountability watchdog has little to show as proof of its raison d’être. As per the NAB law, any inquiry and investigation has to be completed expeditiously, but not exceeding a period of 75 days, or earlier. Many of the cases have lingered on for several years.

It was only when the PTI started to seriously pursue those and some other cases that the two major opposition parties joined hands to do something about it. Although after the present amendments NAB has become a toothless body, it is still being used to harass the present opposition. Several members of the PTI government, including former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar, have been booked for allegedly committing corruption.

In its present form, the NAB is not any different from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). There is no point in retaining it. As a matter of fact, in no other functioning democracy is there such an anti-corruption watchdog. It should be closed down. The FIA can do a better job, provided it is free of political pressure. That though seems like a pie in the sky in the present atmosphere.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

Comments

Comments are closed.

Safdar Imam Jun 26, 2022 10:27am
No doubt, under the amended NAB law; it's a big waste of public money to keep it just as another source of political employments and opposition's slaughter house.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Safdar Imam Jun 26, 2022 10:55am
NAB should be retained; redesigned and developed as an independent Court system (Anti-Corruption Courts) whereas investigation, and prosecution bodies should be constituted within FIA as a high power agency on the model of high powered FBI of USA and ACB of India.
thumb_up Recommended (0)

No NAB?

KSA links oil refinery’s setup with political consensus

Panel asks PD to broker agreements between govt, gas producing provinces

PM invites IK, others to APC on terrorism, economy

Jul-Jan trade deficit shrinks 31.97pc to $19.632 YoY

Dar approves proposal to raise $2bn from expats

Rules notified: FBR, banks can share info about civil servants’ assets

IK writes letter to President: Agencies accused of meddling in political affairs

Broadcast journalist arrested

Smuggling not the main reason behind USD shortage: FBR

SBP’s reserves slip to $3bn