No consensus on ‘NAC’ as another round of talks fail

Another meeting of a parliamentary committee deliberating the establishment of a National Accountability Commission ended inconclusively on Wednesday, with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) refusing to budge on the issue while PPP leaders chose to skip the proceedings entirely.
The JI and PTI want the laws governing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) kept as they are, fearing that the government is pushing forward the legislation to protect Nawaz Sharif and his family.
“The accountability of the family of holders of national office should also be brought within the purview of accountability laws,” PTI’s Shireen Mazari proposed at the meeting. “However, the government seems set on this proposal,” she alleged, insinuating that the Sharif family’s legal woes were influencing the government’s lawmaking.
The leaders of political parties also failed to reach a consensus on the procedure of filing a corruption reference against an accused.”We want someone other than the NAB chairman to take a decision on the filing of a reference against an accused,” Law Minister Zahid Hamid said.
“We would rather that the Accountability Commission make this decision rather than the NAB chairman,” he explained.
Laying out the way forward, the law minister said the decision to keep NAB in its current form or replace it with the National Accountability Commission would be taken after a vote.
“I hope that a decision will be taken regarding the delimitation of constituencies in the meeting of parliamentary leaders scheduled for today,” he later said.
“The Elections Act (Amendment) Bill will also be tabled before parliament soon,” he assured.
“Through an amendment, we will maintain separate voter lists for Ahmadiyya voters,” he added.
The parliamentary committee has been summoned for another meeting on Friday.