Dawn News

ISLAMABAD, Sept 9: The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) plans to take its coalition partners and smaller opposition parties into confidence over its new draft of the controversial accountability law which it feels the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) will reject, Dawn has learnt.

The main opposition PML-N has not formally rejected the newly-drafted accountability law handed over to it by a PPP team headed by Syed Khurshid Shah last week, but it does not look enthusiastic about it either.

A number of PML-N members, including Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, have already rejected the new draft terming it “weak and aimless”.

Hours after the PPP-PML-N meeting, Ch Nisar declared that his party would not become “a part of any weak accountability law in any way.”

Similarly, PML-N’s deputy secretary general Ahsan Iqbal has stated that the government wants to exclude the past corruption cases through the bill whereas his party desires that the new accountability commission should be empowered to take up the corruption cases irrespective of the period.

On the other hand, the PPP leadership seems to be in a hurry to get the much-delayed bill passed by the parliament where it has the required numbers, but the PPP circles feel that it would get a better image if it could increase the majority by winning over other parties and pass the bill with a clear majority.

PPP sources said the party leadership might decide at any time to go for the passage of the accountability bill even without the support of the PML-N, but since the party was already facing a revolt from its coalition partners over the issue of local government ordinance in Sindh it could not think of tabling it in the parliament for the time being.

The sources said a PPP delegation was expected to hold separate meetings in the next few days with the representatives of the Awami National Party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) and the PML-Q to take them into confidence over the new bill seeking replacement of Musharraf-era NAB with a powerful and independent commission.

Talking to reporters after meeting the PML-N team outside Punjab House in Islamabad, PPP’s Syed Khurshid Shah had stated that the government wanted to bring the law to the parliament with consensus as “we want that every law should be unanimously approved”.

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