ISLAMABAD: Ignoring the provincial government’s latest legislation as well as administrative moves to bar it from working, the National Accountability Bureau will continue its operation in Sindh.
A senior spokesman of the NAB, when contacted, told The News here on Friday that the Bureau is not subservient to any provincial law and thus will continue its operation in Sindh as per the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.
The spokesman said that besides issuing other directives to stop NAB from operating in the province, the Sindh government on Thursday also sought withdrawal of Sindh Police from provincial NAB offices.
The spokesman explained that the NAB is operating under a federal statute and thus its authority and jurisdiction could not be curtailed by a provincial law.
National Accountability Ordinance has though avoided so far challenging the provincial government’s controversial move, it is keenly watching how the judiciary responds to the Sindh opposition’s petition challenging the new provincial law.
The provincial law twice passed by the Sindh Assembly last month to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance-1999 (NAO) in Sindh became an Act of the provincial assembly on Thursday to end the role of NAB in provincial affairs.
After the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, the Sindh Repeal Law-2017 became an act of the provincial assembly which barred NAB from talking against any provincial matter. NAB has been left to take action only against federal institutions and agencies working in Sindh.
The bill to nullify the NAO-1999 in the province had to be twice passed by the provincial assembly as the Sindh governor didn’t give his assent to it, making it binding upon the provincial legislature to reconsider the bill.
After the enactment of the controversial legislation, the Sindh government directed NAB Sindh to transfer all files of corruption and misuse of authority regarding the Sindh government to Anti-Corruption department of the province.
The NAB, however, has no intention to transfer such files unless the judiciary decides in favour of the Sindh government.
Opposition political parties, which had opposed the controversial legislation of the PPP government, have moved the court against the law to repeal NAO-1999 in the province stating that the law has been meant to unlawfully cover-up corruption being committed by PPP’s Sindh government on a rampant basis.