PESHAWAR: Farrukh Habib, the spokesperson for PTI chairman Imran Khan, said here on Sunday that the federal government was destroying the country’s economy and making life of the people miserable through price hike.

He said the government had ‘strangulated’ the Federal Investigation Agency by replacing honest officers, who were investigating the corruption cases against the top leaderships sitting in the present government.

“Astonishingly the people involved in corruption are introducing reforms in the anti-corruption laws,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Musaddiq Abbasi said that the current government abolished the independent status of NAB by drastically amending the law.

Mr Abbasi, who also worked as special assistant to former prime minister Imran Khan on accountability, said that the statutory status of NAB was brought down to the level of FIA and anti-corruption establishment.

He said that after major amendments to the law, NAB officials could not lay hands on politicians and bureaucrats involved in irregularities. He that previously, NAB was empowered to intervene in six types of cases related to corruption which the incumbent government reduced to only two.

“The recent amendments to National Accountability Ordinance 1999 will affected all ongoing cases being investigated by NAB,” said Mr Abbasi.

He said that he foresaw that 80 per cent of NAB cases would be transferred to other departments because after the amendments such cases were no more its jurisdiction. He alleged that all thosee sections of the law were abolished by the government under which corruption cases were filed against the politicians sitting in the government.

“Section-14 of the law, under which Nawaz Sharif was convicted in the Avenfield apartment case, is no more part of the law and the entire section has been abolished,” said Mr Abbasi.

He said that section 21-G of the law, which dealt with the evidence provided by the international agencies and foreign countries, was also removed. “Now such evidences will not be entertained in the corruption cases,” he added.

Previously, NAB had the authority to start investigation in any corruption made after 1985 but now the government reduced it to only five years back cases, he said.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2022

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