General

PM Abbasi calls for serious reforms in NAB law

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said the law of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) required serious reforms as it had been promulgated by a dictator to counter the politicians and meet his designs.
The prime minister said a multiparty committee had taken up the task to review the law and had also evolved a consensus over a draft. However, later, the exercise was politicized after Panama issue surfaced making it difficult to implement such amended law in prevailing circumstance.
He said though there must be a process for accountability but it must be within the purview of the law and the Constitution.
To a question, the prime minister said the present government would present annual budget by mid-May as the interim government had neither mandate to present the budget nor it would have such an experience. The next government could review it in accordance with its priorities, he added.
He reiterated that all the institutions must respect one another’s domains and quoted media reports that parliamentarians were even labeled as drug smugglers by the courts.
The prime minister said executive was almost paralysed today as the officers were not willing to work. The easiest way for a government functionary was to do no work, else they would have to face either court or NAB, he remarked.
He said it was executive’s responsibility to manage the government affairs and if any decision proved wrong, it must not be made a criminal liability.
He said it was only the politicians who go through accountability, not only after five years, rather daily, as they go to the masses.Prime Minister Abbasi again called for dialogue among the institutions to create an understanding on each other’s functions. To a question, he also expressed his willingness to interact with the judiciary for such a dialogue saying that it was a practice in other countries too.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said NAB had been hearing cases of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz twice or thrice a week, and questioned whether any other case was also being heard in such haste.
Talking about the arrest of former Director General Lahore Development Authority Ahad Cheema, he said he was a competent officer who had served efficiently in the government sector, even more than those in the private sector.
He said before arresting him, NAB should have framed charges and held prior investigation. He criticized Cheema’s arrest from the office and releasing his photo standing behind the bars, with a gunman standing outside.