ISLAMABAD: In response to former prime minister Imran Khan’s criticism of amendments in the NAB law, federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarrar said on Tuesday the appointment of the NAB chairman would be finalised in a couple of days and 80 per cent amendments proposed in the NAB law were mostly carried forward from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) ordinance and the rest derived from court judgements.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Mr Tarrar said that the PTI had amended the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) — the law which governed the National Accountability Bureau — to extend the services of their favourite, retired Justice Javed Iqbal, for life.
He said the present government rationalised the law, reversing the amendment to give extension to the NAB chairman.
In reply to a question, the law minister said that the name for new NAB chairman would be finalised this week. He said that since retired Justice Maqbool Baqir was reluctant to accept the offer, his name has been dropped.
He pointed out that Mr Baqir was not interested in assuming the office of NAB chairman because of constitutional bar of Article 207.
Mr Tarrar said that the PTI government introduced successive ordinances to amend the NAO, adding that about 80pc amendments in NAO were carried forward from those ordinances in the recent legislation.
The remaining 20pc amendments were derived from judgements of the Supreme Court and High Courts, adding that the onus of proof from an accused to the prosecution was shifted in line with recommendation of the Council of Islamic Ideology.
The law minister pointed out that the Supreme Court had observed in the case of Salman Rafique that NAB was used for political engineering. He said NAB had unfettered powers for arrest and the 90 days remand was against the dignity of citizens.
Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2022