Monday Jun 20, 2022
ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Monday rejected a bill amending the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance due to the “flaws in its implementation”.
According to a statement released on the official Twitter handle of the President of Pakistan, Alvi said that as conceived originally, the bill took inspiration from “Hazrat Umar’s incident” when asked about the source of extra cloth in his cloak. “The onus in financial crimes is on the accused to provide a money trail,” the statement read.
“Unfortunately, there were flaws in NAB's implementation. It was misused for political exigencies by those in power [and] by vested interests,” the president said.
He also reiterated that the public clamoured for the return of the nation's looted wealth, but long judicial processes and poor prosecution failed most efforts.
“Instead of improving the law to avoid miscarriage, to close loopholes [and] make it stronger, we are weakening it beyond recognition,” the statement read.
According to the president, the proposed changes will “demolish accountability”, creating a “façade of justice” that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture ensuring the exploitation of the common man in an unjust society.
The president said that the poor will continue to be jailed for petty crimes while the corrupt rich will be free to loot and plunder.
He said: “I personally abide by the Constitution, we must act upon injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah, and above all, I am answerable to Allah asking for His forgiveness.
“Therefore, with deep discomfort and pain, I state that my conscience does not allow me to sign this Bill.”
He added that "weak accountability is against the basic rights of the people of Pakistan who are the suffering masses, and, therefore, it is also against the fundamentals of the Constitution".
The president acknowledged that he was aware of the fact, in view of the ‘deeming’ provision under Article 75 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, that the NAB (Amendment), 2022 will be enacted into law even if the President of Pakistan does not sign the bill.
Meanwhile, taking to his Twitter handle former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan said today was a “Black Day” in Pakistan’s history as “imported government of crooks” amended NAB law comes in ending accountability.
“Entire economy and political system of Pakistan was derailed through US-backed regime change conspiracy simply to give this cabal of crooks another NRO,” he said, adding that PML-N leader Khurram Dastagir confirmed this.
Earlier, during an interview with a private channel, Dastagir had admitted that they [the coalition government leaders] knew that there would be disqualifications on a massive level by the end of this year [if things continued in line with Imran Khan's plans].
The PTI chairman further noted that at a time when Pakistan's economy had stabilised and was moving towards sustainable growth of 6%, the conspirators chose to destabilise Pakistan by sending the economy into a tailspin and dropping a price bomb on people — “just to give these criminals NRO”.
“Our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had said societies are destroyed when the poor are jailed while the rich are not held accountable. Today, with this amended NAB law, we are heading towards destruction by removing white-collar criminals from accountability,” he added.
The ousted prime minister pointed out that Rs1,100 billion of the Rs1,200 billion that was being investigated by NAB will now be out of NAB's jurisdiction, giving this “criminal mafia their NRO.
“History will neither forget nor forgive all those who were part of [and] enabled this conspiracy against Pakistan to succeed,” he concluded.