Clipping the powers of NAB
It has been under consideration by Senate to pass a crucial bill to curtail powers of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). This bill was tabled last year in December by PPP named National Accountability (Amendment) Bill. It is being said by the mover of the bill that the 18th Constitutional Amendment gave greater autonomy to the federating units and anti-corruption which is now a “residuary subject”.
Last week NAB arrested suspended Secretary Finance of Balochistan, Mushtaq Raisani for embezzling in local funds. He had done corruption of Rs.1.5 billion. Director General of NAB Major Tariq Mehmood had reiterated that prior to the arrest of Mushtaq Raisani, they had to face a tremendous pressure from different quarters including from Cabinet. It is not first time that Provinces or political parties had get together to curtail powers of those departments which are putting stern check at their conduct. Same had happened with Rangers when they raided offices of Ministers and high profiled political personals. Bill states that Provincial authorities are responsible for their own accountability through commissions and bureaus as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had done. It is true that Provincial governments can make such commissions which can tackle with corruption cases but what about those Provinces where accountability is zero like Balochistan and Sindh.
Senate must not pass this bill because if this bill will be passed then it will amend various sections of National Accountability Ordinance 1999, which will restrict NAB from raiding the departments and Ministries of Federal government. It is deplorable to know that after trying to weaken Rangers, it is being preached to devalue NAB and devaluing NAB by criticizsing 18th Amendment is a very lamentable act as 18th Amendment was a landmark Constitutional achievement which should not be trivialized at any cost. As far as Provincial authority’s responsibility is concerned for accountability, unless Provinces have that autonomous Provincial Accountability Bureaus, NAB should continue functioning. —Larkana