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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday lashed out at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for what he called “harassing” the executive that had paralysed the government machinery.

The prime minister, who was presiding over a meeting of the federal cabinet, criticised the anti-graft watchdog when a request by NAB seeking required information for investigating different corruption cases related to the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) was placed before the cabinet, a participant, who did not want to be named, told Dawn.

Mr Abbasi was of the view that the executive enjoyed powers to take decisions and if it made any wrong decision it could be rectified by it (the executive) as well. “If the executive makes five wrong decisions out of 10, it is its job to rectify them,” he added.

“As a result of notices issued by NAB, secretaries and the government machinery have stopped their work. Who will work if the executive is harassed?” he wondered.

He was of the opinion that there should be a proper procedure for providing government information to NAB. “This is not the way that we have to provide whatever information is asked by NAB.”

The prime minister ordered the formation of a committee to devise a procedure under which relevant information could be shared with NAB.

The cabinet turned down the NAB request and decided that the required information would not be provided to the bureau unless a procedure for this was laid down.

The cabinet endorsed its own decision of disbanding the Engineering Development Board (EDB) of the Ministry of Industries and Production.

According to sources, the decision to dissolve the EDB was first taken by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif last year with a view that the board was creating problems instead of promoting and encouraging industries. The meeting ratified the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy at its meetings held on April 2 and 3.

It accorded approval to a special forces training agreement between the Nigerian Air Force and the Pakistan Army for training in Nigeria.

The meeting ratified recommendations of the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases in respect of proposed amendments to Rule 26 of the Drug (Licensing, Registering & Advertising) Rule, 1976, and to Jammu and Kashmir (administration of property) Rules, 1961.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2018