Govt, Opp reps discuss potential changes to accountability law


ISLAMABAD: Government and opposition lawmakers on Tuesday discussed potential amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law.

The meeting was held in Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem’s chamber. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Zahid Hamid, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Rana Sanullah represented the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was represented by Syed Naveed Qamar.

Following the meeting, Naseem, who along with Ali Mohammad Khan represented the federal government, told reporters only that “the opposition parties have presented their perspective regarding the amendments to the NAB law”.

The law minister said that any amendments to the accountability law will be proposed after the government has consulted its allies.

“After the consultation, we will sit down with the opposition again,” he said.

Naseem said that the a proposed bill drafted during the PML-N era neither came up in discussions nor was it brought up by the opposition parties.

The minister refused to comment on the contents of the new bill, saying “it is not appropriate to do so since a final decision has yet to be taken.”

Ahead of the meeting, Sanaullah, a former law minister of Punjab, had raised his concerns over the NAB law granting 90-day remand of suspects to the accountability watchdog.

“To give 90-day remand is without justification,” he said. “In other serious crimes, a remand of 14 days is granted. The laws that are there without justification will be analysed.”

Sanaullah later described the meeting as “positive”, acknowledging that “the government too wants to make NAB laws transparent.”