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Amending NAB’s Power

The government and the opposition seem to have reached a collective decision of amending the powers allotted to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The narrative that started as anti-opposition rhetoric is now also reflective in the comments of the government, as proved by the comments of Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati. Since the beginning of the new fiscal year, NAB has been involved in several public trials and cases of opposition leaders, based on the cases pursued by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in previous tenures.
The reason why these cases are creating hindrances is that the parliament and the federal government have no say or control over the dealings of NAB. The recent arrest of former President and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari has caused a huge ruckus in the political circles as he is not being granted the privileges promised as per law and despite orders of the court, he is being kept in physical remand albeit his health is deteriorating. He is also not being allowed to meet his family members and orders such as these make space for the narrative of victimisation.
The bill submitted by the opposition to amend the powers of NAB should be worked upon by both sides in order to reach an effective solution in due time. The government requires the help of the opposition forces in political matters in order to gain a strong foothold. The arrest of opposition leaders will result in a lack of cooperation, the result of which we have seen in the last year. The government should also leave its own bill regarding NAB in order to build on the recent similarity in the narrative. The opportunity to work together should be utlised wherever it presents itself.



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