After opposition leaders criticized the amendment in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance 20219, and accused PTI government of giving NRO to its corrupt leader, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability, Barrister Shahzad Akbar came forward to respond the allegations and made it clear that amendments have been made in the National Accountability Bureau laws to make it more effective.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, he said there is a misperception about the amendments. He made it clear that the powers of NAB have not been curtailed, rather its efficiency has been enhanced by introducing these amendments.
The amendment would be presented to the parliament and anyone wishing to improve it was welcome, the special assistant noted. Nonetheless, if anyone desired personal gain, they would not get it in the incumbent government, he said.
“We have now started to move towards progress, the institutions are being improved by strengthening them,” he added. “It’s being said the bureaucracy is being given some leeway; that includes politicians and bureaucracy both. There is also a misconception that NAB cannot go above or below a particular account,” he said.
“If someone’s case came to the NAB just because they made some decision, then that was uncalled for,” he stated, adding, however, that the anti-graft watchdog did not deal with tax-related issues but that that was the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) job.
“Are tax matters a corruption issue? It’s not like someone is being given any tax-related leeway with the passing of these laws. Those matters will be overseen by the relevant institutions.” Akbar clarified that the NAB’s laws would not be applicable to anyone who had no links to holders of any public offices. Its “job is to catch corruption, not fix institutions”, he said.
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17 November, 2019