MQM, PTI blocks new NAB law to makes Judges and Generals accountable

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and MQM Pakistan has blocked the way of drafting new NAB law to make sacred cows like Judges and Generals accountable as politicians.

Both parties frustrated the nearly year-long process of drafting legislation during the 13th meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Accountability Laws, which had almost reached an agreement on bringing judges and generals into the ambit of accountability laws if they had committed any sort of corruption.

Before Wednesday’s meeting, all parliamentary parties had agreed to proposals to ensure across-the-board accountability, which would bring judges and generals within the purview of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). However, at the last minute, both PTI and MQM took a sudden U-turn, shattering the consensus built around the nearly-finalised bill.

MQM members rejected the draft bill outright, while PTI’s Dr Shireen Mazari was of the view that her party would come up with its own recommendations for across-the-board accountability.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid, who chaired the committee meeting, made no secret of his displeasure over the two parties’ stance. He asked why, if PTI and MQM had reservations, were they not mentioned in the previous 12 meetings.

“Until now, every proposal of the bill was being approved through consensus. I don’t know what suddenly happened to the PTI and MQM today,” he said after an in-camera meeting that lasted only 20 minutes.

At the committee’s last meeting, it was decided that representatives of all parties would consult their respective heads and would apprise the committee about their party line on the draft bill in the meeting that was to be held on Wednesday.

He said that PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and an MQM representative had been present in all 12 previous meetings of the committee, but had shown no concerns over the draft bill. “The process has been spoiled after almost 90pc of the bill had been approved through consensus,” he said.