ISLAMABAD: Responding to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s criticism of the NAB law amendments, Federal Law and Justice Minister Azam Nazeer Tarrar said on Tuesday that the appointment of the NAB chairman would be finalized within days and that 80% of the proposed amendments in the NAB Act were mostly carried over from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Ordinance and the rest stemmed from court judgments.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Mr Tarrar said the PTI had amended the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) – the law which governed the National Accountability Office – to extend the services of their favorite judge, retired judge Javed Iqbal.
He said the current government had streamlined the law, reversing the amendment to grant an extension to the NAB chairman.
In response to a question, the Attorney General said the name of the new NAB chairman would be finalized this week. He said since retired judge Maqbool Baqir was reluctant to accept the offer, his name was dropped.
He pointed out that Mr. Baqir was not interested in assuming the position of NAB chairman due to the constitutional prohibition of Section 207.
Mr Tarrar said that the PTI government had introduced successive orders to amend the NAO, adding that around 80% of the NAO amendments had been carried over from these orders in recent legislation.
The remaining 20% amendments were taken from judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts, adding that the burden of proof from an accused to the prosecution was shifted in line with the recommendation of the Council of Islamic Ideology .
The Minister of Justice pointed out that the Supreme Court had observed in the Salman Rafique case that the NAB was used for political engineering purposes. He said the NAB had unlimited powers of arrest and that the 90-day pretrial detention was contrary to the dignity of citizens.
Posted in Dawn, June 22, 2022