SA passes legislation  to end NAB role on provincial departments

Salahuddin Haider
In a major move, after-effects of which will be felt for long time to come, Sindh Assembly passed a bill, seeking to end the role of federally controlled National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe into misdeeds of provincial departments. This was no ordinary piece of legislation, for it seeks to “liberate” the southern province from what it calls “arbitrary” control of the Central government. The Sindh  government has  been agitating over NAB raids on provincial departments. Now the Sindh government, exercising authority from 18th amendment to the Constitutional, has acted on its own to exercise authority on provincial issues, leaving a safety clause in the Bill, however, to let the NAB raid federally administered departments, or institutions in Sindh, but with the permission of the provincial government. This appears to be a dichotomy, for it would open a Pandora’s Box, as other provinces may follow suit to prevent federation’s interference subjects which they think should be under sole control of the provinces, and a policy of least interference must be pursued by the Government in Islamabad.The passage of the bill was opposed with tooth and nail by the combined opposition parties. The MQM , raised voices against it, and PTI’s Sher Zaman tore off its copies. The opposition leader, Khawaja Izharul Hasan left no doubt in minds of people that MQM was dead against the legislation, for it would merely seek to promote corruption in a province which was already too well known.Whether Governor Muhammad Zubair will assent the bill remains to be seen, but some problem could easily be visualized as the governor has let his viewpoint known explicitly in an interview two days ago that unless some positive and effective alternative is produced, the bill would seek to cause greater confusion than it has sought ot end. However, the governors’ refusal to sign the bill for give it the shape of act, would lead to tussle between him and the PPP  Sindh government.

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