Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday stated that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government is open to accepting the opposition’s “valid recommendations” regarding the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance.
The minister made the remarks while talking to a news channel. He was asked about the government’s need for opposition’s support to pass the recently signed ordinance in Parliament.
“Ordinance has its own duration and then its needs to be legislated. During law making, treasury and opposition’s input comes in,” said Qureshi. He asked the opposition to bring forward any “solid recommendations” it has over the NAB laws.
Qureshi said that the government brought the ordinance due to the long-standing debate regarding the amendments [the NAB law needed]. “I remember that in the last government, when we were in the opposition, PML-N formed a committee for amending the ordinance. The committee did a lot of work but it could not be completed,” shared the foreign minister.
Qureshi said that the “general opinion” in the committee, which also had members from Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-N and other parties, was that the “ordinance required changes and has some shortcomings”.
“The members of the time viewed some of [the] clauses in the ordinance as draconian,” he said. The foreign minister also commented on the NAB’s difficulties in finding evidence against those it accuses of corruption, saying that top-notch defence and weak prosecution was to blame for that.
“In a lot of cases, evidence’s collection and the prosecution’s arguments were seen as weak, and a lot of people took advantage of this,” highlighted Qureshi.
“The defence has highly paid lawyers and if on the other end there are ill-prepared people, then the advantage of this goes to those people who have harmed the national treasury,” said the minister.
Qureshi also said that the opposition’s allegation of NAB being used for revenge was “incorrect”, emphasising that “NAB can do whatever it wants” and is an independent organisation.