New ordinance makes NAB's working 'difficult'.

 
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Byline: Ashraf Mumtaz and Imran Mukhtar

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD -- The amendment made to the NAB law through a presidential ordinance will help 'hundreds' of accused facing charges of possessing assets beyond means or misuse of powers, go unpunished, informed NAB sources said on Saturday.

On the other hand, opposition parties launched a barrage of criticism against the government over the amendment in the NAB law, claiming that it was an attempt to protect its cronies.

The sources in the NAB said although the anti-graft body can't do anything against the government's fresh move and will have to go by the new legislation, the ordinance will certainly seriously affect the NAB's performance.

Elaborating the point, the sources said there are people with assets of multi-billions of rupees, but when their landed properties will be reassessed on DC rates or the FBR rates (which are far below the market value) it will be very difficult for the NAB to prove such people corrupt or possessing sources beyond means.

The new law will also make it difficult for the NAB to perform its functions. For example, until now the NAB used to ask a person under inquiry to prove how he/she had made assets. But after the amendment to the law, the sources said, now it would be for the NAB to establish that the assets were illegal.

If the NAB could not do this, the accused would be benefited.

Likewise, the sources said, now it will be for the NAB to establish that a person recruited unqualified people against various posts. And in case it could not do this, the recruitments would be deemed to have been made in good faith.

The PTI government has done what the PML-N and PPP governments could not do in their respective tenures, said an official.

GOVT TRYING TO PROTECT ITS CRONIES: PPP

PPP on Saturday said that PTI government's decision to make changes in the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) was an effort to 'protect its cronies.'

Senior PPP leader and Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani, while addressing a news conference, said amendments in the NAO, 1999 that governs the NAB would benefit the bureaucrats and the business community.

'Judiciary and the Army have their internal accountability mechanisms already,' he said, adding then only 'political parties would be left to become victims of the black law of NAB.'

'It is a black law and people are committing suicides because of it,' the minister said. He said NAB, in the past, had victimised politicians belonging to the...

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