ISLAMABAD: Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday rejected the government’s decision that a committee comprising business tycoons will vet cases of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that are related to the business community.
In a statement, he said: “The reported decision of the federal government to establish a committee of industrialists to vet cases that will be taken up by NAB is discriminatory.”
He also proposed formation of a Federal Accountability Commission for across-the-board accountability.
Mr Rabbani said accountability in Pakistan had become a process of trial by one’s own peers. “The civil military bureaucracy, if and when subjected to accountability, are tried by their own peers,” he added.
“Similarly, the judges of the superior courts are subject to Article 209 of the Constitution that grants an inquiry by their own fellow judges. Now big business will have their cases vetted by the committee of their own peers who would then allow NAB to proceed or otherwise,” he added.
He said that politicians were the only class of citizens who were being discriminated against and subjected to arrest, investigation and trial by special NAB courts under the stringent law.
“This discrimination is in total violation of the fundamental rights provided under the Constitution,” he added.
He said taht if all stakeholders were to be subjected to peer trial then members of parliament and the provincial assemblies should also have their cases scrutinised up by the committee of parliament before NAB took up them.
Mr Rabbani said the process of accountability could only be transparent and result-oriented if there was across-the-board accountability under one law and one procedure.
“I had earlier suggested that there should be a Federal Accountability Commission with representation of all stakeholders to carry out across-the-board accountability,” he said.
On the other hand, Pakistan Peoples Party leader and Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala hailed the government’s decision.
He said that the assurance given by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to the businessmen would improve shattered confidence of the business community in the country.
“I hope that the government will provide conducive atmosphere to the businessmen,” he added.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2019