President Dr Arif Alvi has refused to sign the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendment bill, which was passed by the National Assembly and Senate last month, saying that the proposed changes will ‘demolish accountability’.
In a statement, Alvi said that he believes the bill to be ‘regressive in nature’, adding that it would ‘promote corruption by ensuring that the long arm of the law is crippled’.
“The president lamented that the small man will be caught for petty crimes while the corrupt rich will remain free to continue with their blood-sucking abhorrent practices. Having weak accountability is against the basic rights of the people of Pakistan […] it is also against the fundamentals of our Constitution,” the statement added.
He further said it has been observed that there are flaws in the implementation of the NAB Ordinance. “This law, like all other laws vesting authority in the executive, was abused for political exigencies by those in power. Because of this reason, along with the role of vested interests, the accountability process in Pakistan became quite ineffective. While the public clamoured for the return of looted wealth, the long judicial processes involved and ineffective prosecution actually made it very difficult to expose, prevent and eliminate corruption.”
He added that a strong effort for improvement is needed.
Meanwhile, PTI Chairperson Imran Khan, in a tweet, said that today is a “black day” in Pakistan’s history as “imported government of crooks” amended NAB law comes in ending accountability.
“Entire economy and political system of Pakistan is derailed through US-backed regime change conspiracy simply to give this cabal of crooks another NRO. At a time when our economy had stabilised and was moving towards sustainable growth of six per cent, the conspirators chose to destabilise Pakistan by sending [the] economy into a tailspin and dropping a price bomb on our people — just to give these criminals NRO2,” Imran said.