Former Foreign Minister and Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice President Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday that the government had amended accountability laws to protect the “corrupt elite class”, claiming that PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be “the direct beneficiaries of the changes”.
“The amendments made by the government to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAB) 1999 were those which they had once proposed to the PTI in an attempt to obtain the NRO,” Qureshi told a press conference. in Islamabad.
The National Assembly had approved the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021 on May 26. Some of the important points are given here:
The NAB vice president will become acting president after the senior official retires.
The process for appointing a new president must begin two months before the incumbent’s retirement and be completed within 40 days.
Federal and provincial tax matters are removed from the jurisdiction of the NAB.
Decisions of regulatory bodies are taken out of NAB’s jurisdiction.
Qureshi said Prime Minister Shehbaz will be a direct beneficiary of the amendment to Section 9 (AV) which deals with bribery and corrupt practices as well as wealth beyond sources of income.
Senate Passes NAB Act Amendment Bill, Elections Act Amendment
“Similarly, the PML-N supremo Nawaz will also directly benefit from amendments to Article 14 of the NAO, which relates to the ‘presumption against the accused accepting an unlawful gratuity.’ Under this article, the suspect who was required to providing a money trail will no longer be required to provide the same,” he added.
PTI challenges the amendments
The top PTI leader said his party would ask the Supreme Court to challenge the amendments to the NAB order and those related to electoral reforms.
“We also urge the highest court to take cognizance of the NAB law changes that have rendered the accountability watchdog dysfunctional.”
He accused the PML-N of rushing these amendments to the law for the benefit of the country’s political elite.
Qureshi said the government-approved amendments contravene the requirements of the UN Convention Against Corruption and the Financial Action Task Force.
He said about “80% of NAB cases” will be transferred to other courts from the tort courts, saying “this is exactly what the PML-N and PPP have been looking forward to for a long time” .
The PTI leader also opposed the passage of the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022, which seeks to abolish the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in general elections and prohibits Pakistanis from voting. overseas to vote electronically.
“Overseas Pakistanis are significant contributors to our economy, but the PPP and PML-N believe that overseas-based Pakistanis are PTI-inclined, which has disqualified them all from voting, which which is an injustice,” he added.