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PTI Govt Wants NAB Chairman’s Tenure Extended

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has proposed an extension in the tenures of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, deputy chairman, and the prosecutor general, as it seeks to amend the accountability laws.

According to journalist Zahid Gishkori, the PTI has suggested these changes in amendments it has put forward for changes in the National Accountability Ordinance. The journalist hasn’t specified the duration of the extension period though.

In December last year, the federal cabinet had approved the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 which restricted NAB to act against government officers for procedural lapses in any government scheme or project.

However, in April this year, Shahzad Akbar, who is the prime minister’s aide on accountability, said that the draft of the NAB amendment ordinance was yet to be finalised.

NAB has come under increasing scrutiny over the past couple of years. The opposition and judiciary both have criticised it for highhandedness and its lop-sided accountability efforts.

In a scathing judgement last week, the Supreme Court criticised the accountability laws of the country, saying these laws were being used as a tool to ‘arm-twist and pressurise’ political opponents into submission and ‘fracturing political parties’.

In a ruling authored by Justice Maqbool Baqar, the SC had said: “Accountability laws were framed and applied with an oblique motive of arm twisting and pressurizing the political opponent into submission, subjugation, and compliance, so as to remove them from the public scene at least temporarily.”

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