PTI observes 'black day' to mark protest against NAB law tweaks

Fawad says NAB law amended to provide relief to Sharifs, Zardaris in corruption cases


Our Correspondent June 20, 2022
Imran Khan. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has condemned the coalition government's amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law, saying the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2022 "would help the cabal of crooks get another NRO".

In a series of tweets on Monday, the former premier termed it a “black day” in the country’s history as the law amended by the "imported government of crooks comes into effect ending accountability.”

With the amended NAB law, he claimed, Pakistan was “heading towards destruction by removing white-collar criminals from accountability".

Imran reiterated his stance that Pakistan’s economic and political system was derailed through a "US-backed regime-change conspiracy" simply to give “this cabal of crooks another NRO.”

“At a time when our economy had stabilised and was moving towards sustainable growth of 6%, the conspirators chose to destabilise Pakistan by sending the economy into a tailspin and dropping a price bomb on our people; just to give these criminals NRO-2,” Imran said.

He warned that the latest amendment in the NAB legislation would nip a hefty sum of Rs1,100 billion off the bureau’s jurisdiction.

“Rs1,100 billion of the Rs1,200 billion that was being investigated by NAB will now be out of NAB’s jurisdiction, giving this criminal mafia their NRO-2,” Imran said.

“History will neither forget nor forgive all those who were part of and enabled this conspiracy against Pakistan to succeed.”

'NRO-2 for Sharifs and Zardaris'

Earlier, PTI Central Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that the NAB bill amendment was an NRO-2 for the families of Sharifs and Zardaris, adding that corruption cases amounting to Rs1100 billion would be wriggled out of NAB's jurisdiction.

Speaking at a press conference, the former information minister said that the amendment would be beneficial for Panama cases as well as the coteries of these two families.

Fawad said that PTI observed a ‘black day’ against the NAB law amendment on Monday, adding that the people wanted by the graft watchdog sought to exonerate themselves of mega corruption cases.

He said that under the new changes to the said law, assets registered in the name of a person's wife, children or anyone else would not be investigated.

Fawad claimed that earlier the Sharifs and Zardaris had gotten their corruption cases trashed after securing an NRO from former military ruler Pervez Musharaf and now “the second NRO has been granted to them by stripping the NAB of its autonomy”.

"NAB recovered Rs487 billion in three-and-a-half years as it was brought under the interior ministry."

Fawad lamented that corruption cases against Zardari, Bilawal, as well as Maryam Nawaz, would now come to an end in the wake of the said amendment in NAB rules, adding since it was bureaucrats' decision, therefore, the said amendments would also benefit them the most.

The PTI leader claimed that as a result of changes to the NAB law, Section 14 has been removed, saying the section pertained to the suspect producing evidence of their illegal wealth. He further claimed that the definition of assets had also been changed in the new law.

The former information minister claimed that there were only two forces in the country that could keep the nation intact: Imran Khan and Pakistan Army. He said Imran was a symbol of uniting Pakistan and PTI was the only mainstream political force in the country while the rest of the political parties shrunk to some specific localities.

Lashing out at Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Fawad said that the former was seeking the US ambassador’s assistance in striking a deal with the IMF, clearly reflecting the incompetence of the imported government.

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Fawad went on to allege that the current dispensation — an assemblage of main political parties that muscled Imran out of power through a no-trust motion — had come to power for the sole purpose of making constitutional amendments and getting their names clear from corruption cases.

He expressed his apprehensions that the "corrupt and self-centred politicians" would not even hesitate to foster a crisis in Pakistan similar to the one being witnessed in Sri Lanka "in order to protect and safeguard their own interests".

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