Amendments defanged NAB law: CM’s aide

Adviser voices concern over accountability law tweaks

Our Correspondent June 13, 2024


Special Assistant to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Anti-Corruption Brigadier (retrd) Muhammad Musaddiq Abbassi has expressed grave concerns over the amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law. Speaking at a press conference in Peshawar he warned that these amendments will result in an annual loss of Rs150 billion to the national treasury and potentially end cases worth Rs1,100 billion.

He stated that these changes violated international laws and have rendered the NAB institution completely toothless, which is detrimental to the country and the national treasury.

Speaking on Dubai property leaks, Abbassi stressed the need of identifying the source of income for money transferred out of the country.

“If the source is known but the transfer was through illegal channels, action will be taken under tax evasion laws. If the source is unknown and the transfer was illicit, action will be taken under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2012,” he said, calling for transparent judicial investigations.

He also urged the FBR, FIA, and NAB to take decisive actions.

Speaking about the purported weakening of NAB authority, he said that anti-money laundering cases have been removed from NAB’s jurisdiction. The acceptance of these amendments by the NAB chairman undermines the institution’s role in protecting the national treasury, he said.

Abbassi said that such amendments have impact on high-profile cases of Sharif and Zardari families, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan and many more. Changes in specific sections of the law have eliminated the requirement of disclosing sources of income, thereby reducing accountability for corruption, he added.

The advisor said that during the PTI era in the federal government, NAB recovered Rs480 billion in three years, averaging Rs160 billion per year. Whereas, post-amendment, recoveries have dwindled to a few billion rupees.

These amendments have shifted NAB’s focus to default cases rather than original corruption cases, severely limiting its effectiveness. Discussing details of the amendments, he noted that under the amendments, unless bureaucrats create assets in their own names, they cannot be questioned.

Corruption involving contractors and bureaucrats has been removed from NAB’s purview. He said that by amending the NAB law the Toshakhana case under Section 97A was relaxed, benefiting individuals such as Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. Additionally, changes benefiting specific individuals, such as Khawaja Saad Rafiq, have also been implemented


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ