1 February 2023
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Government’s chief spokesperson Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said that the government will not bypass the due process to implement the newly promulgated National Accountability (second amendment) Ordinance 2019, saying the legislation will be subject to debate.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the federal cabinet, Awan criticised the opposition’s “hypocrisy” for wanting to amend the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws for 11 years and now objecting to the PTI government’s introduction of the new NAB law.
Leaders of the main opposition PML-N and PPP have alleged that the government introduced the ordinance to stop NAB from probing mega corruption cases involving the PTI government.
“They (opposition) are internally overjoyed but publicly they are criticising a government move done in goodwill,” said Awan, the special assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting.
She said although it is the opposition’s right to criticise, the attitude adopted by it over the law is “inappropriate”.
According to Awan, the new NAB law, which the government amended through a presidential ordinance promulgated last week, will be placed before the parliament where debate will be held on it.
“For the law to be passed through the Senate, it is important for the opposition to come on board. But the government will not bulldoze this entire process to forcefully implement the law,” she said.
The government spokesperson revealed that prior to the cabinet meeting, an in-camera briefing was held during which detailed discussions took place on the accountability laws.
She said Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the business community reiterated that he had “picked the thorns out of their way” through the NAB ordinance. The ordinance is aimed at facilitating investors because investment in the country will lead to job creation, Awan added.
On Monday, Prime Minister Imran had vowed not to retreat or succumb to any pressure over the issue of the NAB ordinance and said that the amendments — which benefit legislators, bureaucrats and the business community — were made keeping in view the opposition’s longstanding demand.

Abdul Gh Lone