LAHORE – Despite strong resistance by the Opposition, the PPP-led government has transformed the National Accountability Bureau – established during the Musharraf era with immense powers to tackle plundering of the state kitty – into National Accountability Commission (NAC).
Although the PML-N and other groups in the Opposition strongly opposed the government-sponsored bill calling for the transformation of the accountability bureau into an accountability commission, the ruling PPP with the help of its allies got it passed with majority vote in Parliament.
In a formal notification issued after the approval on October 30 (Tuesday), FCIW HR & Finance DG Kausar Iqbal Malik has been put in charge of the process of the transformation of NAB into NAC.
Sources privy to this development said the very move was meant to sabotage the ongoing process of accountability. They said that parliamentarians had been exempted from any accountability in the legislation laid down for the commission. “Even an article that no inquiry could be initiated against responsible if a national kitty plundering incident lapsed a decade has also been incorporated into the legislation” added the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said that even on conviction, plunderers would be given nominal penalties under the new accountability set-up.
The government, the sources held, ended the bureau because a number of cases and references have been filed against government functionaries during the past four-and-a-half years.
According to sources, as the Supreme Court and NAB could assert their grip on people accused in the cases of rental power plant, Haj scandal, Pakistan Steel Mills and Ogra scam – being investigated under the supervision of the apex court – during the interim set-up, the government allegedly did away with the old rules and regulations.
Following is the text of the notification issued by the Government of Pakistan: 1) Mr Kausar Iqbal Malik, DG-FCIW/HR & Finance, will look after the entire process of transformation of ‘National Accountability Bureau’ to ‘National Accountability Commission’ including all connected or ancillary matters. He will carry out all necessary actions required in accordance with the guidelines of the Government of Pakistan and Law. 2) Additional Director (Staff) of all Regional Bureaus, Coords of all Divisions/ Wings/ Departments of NAB (HQ) will take further instructions in this regard from Mr Kausar Iqbal Malik and will liaise with him for ensuring smooth transformation. 3) The above is issued with the approval of the Chairman NAB.
Musharraf-era NAB renamed as NAC