It seems that the leaders of the opposition are not the only ones with strong reservations in adopting the proposed National Accountability Commission Bill which has been lying with the NA Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs since April 2009 because of non-agreement among the stakeholders.
The newly appointed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman has also expressed concern over the proposed bill. During an interaction with a select group of journalists, NAB Chairman Admiral (R) Fasih Bokhari said that the proposed bill, if passed by the National Assembly in its current form, would dilute accountability powers.
The stance taken by the chairman may land him in some trouble with certain quarters, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP); however, it will certainly be a boost for opposition parties, such as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that have been at loggerheads with PPP members over some of the clauses of the bill.
“I am against this bill because it will dilute NAB powers. We have informed the committee as well … It will be a step backwards,” Bokhari said, emphasising the need for strengthening regulatory frameworks within the institution. The chairman went on to add that the bureau has begun working with other regulatory bodies to strengthen rules and regulations and ensure the bureau’s independence.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2012.