WHEN an important ordinance is quietly promulgated at a time when Parliament has been summoned and two weeks later, on the last day of the Senate in session, brought before the two Houses for passage into law, it would smack of a fishy business, even if it were a direly needed legislation and did not contain any questionable clauses. The case in point is the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance introduced in the Senate and the National Assembly on Friday. It came as a surprise to all those who could be interested in its contents, and anything concerning NAB, in these days of post-NRO verdict, would be of interest to the entire citizenry, not merely the legislators and the legal community. In this case, as it turned out, none had been taken into confidence. The Ordinance was published in the official gazette at the time it had come into force, but even the Law Secretary claimed to have had no idea about it; the Prime Minister appeared confused when questioned; the legislators and the legal community were in the dark. Obviously, it raised a veritable storm in both the Houses, and the attempt by Law Minister Babar Awan, who was present in the Senate, to assuage the Opposition Senators outrage by saying that the Ordinance was not secretly promulgated did not satisfy them and they walked out. And to PPPs shame, their stalwart Raza Rabbani also joined in the walk-out. The Ordinance exposes the governments lack of sincerity in implementing the NRO judgement since while the Supreme Court wants the appointment of a NAB Chairman, who is both an effective head and of an impeccable character, the Ordinance shifts some of his powers to the Law Minister, which is something open to question at this stage and raises the prospect of a clash between the government and the judiciary. The government must answer the charge that it wants to have accountability courts of its own choice to get favourable decisions; and for that it has been termed as unconstitutional.