President Arif Alvi refuses to sign the’regressive’ NAB bill after passing the election reform bill. After returning an unsigned bill seeking to reverse the former PTI government’s changes to election laws, President Dr Arif Alvi did the same on Monday with another piece of legislation seeking to limit the National Accountability Bureau’s vast powers (NAB).
Last month, the National Assembly and Senate passed the two bills, which were then sent to the president for approval. However, Alvi returned them on June 4, after which the government called a joint session of parliament on June 9 to pass the bills, which were approved the same day. The president stated that he was aware that the NAB bill would become law even if he did not sign it. President Alvi elaborated on the reasons for not signing the bill, stating that flaws in the implementation of the NAB Ordinance had been discovered.
“This law, like all other laws vesting authority in the executive, was abused by those in power for political expediency. As a result of this, as well as the role of vested interests, the accountability process in Pakistan has become quite ineffective. While the public demanded the return of looted wealth, the lengthy judicial processes and ineffective prosecution made it extremely difficult to expose, prevent, and eliminate corruption “said the president.
President Arif Alvi stated that, rather than structurally improving the institution, enacting the amendments was akin to “demolishing the process of accountability without an alternate system in place.” “Weak laws, such as this one, create a facade of justice that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture, and nations that accommodate such laws ensure very damaging exploitation of the common man, perpetuating an unjust society,” he said, adding that his conscience prevented him from signing the bill.
Dark Day in Pakistani History: Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan described today as a “black day in Pakistan’s history,” with the NAB law being amended by a “imported government of crooks.” The entire economy and political system of Pakistan has been derailed by a US-backed regime change conspiracy simply to give this cabal of crooks another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO),” he tweeted.
At a time when our economy had stabilised and was moving towards six percent sustainable growth, 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 NRO2,” the former prime minister said.
Imran asserted that today, with this single amended NAB law, we are heading towards destruction by removing white collar criminals from accountability. He went on to say that Rs1.1 trillion of the Rs1.2 trillion under investigation by the anti-graft watchdog would now fall outside of its purview. “History will neither forget nor forgive all those who participated in and enabled the success of this conspiracy against Pakistan,” he said.