The accountability process in Pakistan has always been a controversial topic in our polity and meant to nab opponents only. The current NAB law was promulgated by a dictator who has recently been punished violating the Constitution, General Pervez Musharraf when he took charge of the government in consequence of bloodless coup against the then PML (N) government Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. This piece of legislation played an essential role in shaping and reshaping the political landscape of our country. In its early phase, it created a full-fledged political party, i.e. PML Q out PML (N) and PPP that provided political space to General Musharraf during his heydays, for almost a decade. Further, the PTI government since it came to power has been using actually misusing this draconian law against PML (N) and PPP and keeping its eyes closed on PTI ministers in KPK and Center. The fear and unnecessary pressure on the business community and bureaucracy have halted routine working in the country, causing panic and making business activities stagnant.

The Supreme Court time and again through its judgments keeps guiding the legislature that NAB law should be amended suitably for granting powers to grant bail by Accountability Courts. Due to the non-existence of these powers, a considerable precious time of the superior courts is consumed on this issue. The former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr Asif Saeed Khan Khosa being part of the five-member judge bench remarked: “The concept of bail should be introduced in NAO so that we (superior courts) should not have to use their constitutional power to deal with such bail matters.” While further writing, he told that the intention behind section 9 which excluded the jurisdiction of the superior court had already neutralised when the superior courts started to granting the bail after using their constitutional powers under Articles 199 and 184 (3).

In the above backdrop, the PTI government that is dubbed as Ordinance Raj has introduced changes in the NAB through Presidential Ordinance that created hue and cry in the opposition political parties in the country. The PPP and PML (N) are currently facing the music of the NAB on the one hand. And on the other, PTI enjoying implied immunity from NAB in the cases against its minister particularly BRT mega project in Peshawar which could not be completed despite seven years or so. Furthermore, the Peshawar High Court has directed the top investigating agency to investigate and apprehend a responsible person.

The NAB (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 is in the parliament and let’s see what happens to it. The parliament has recently amended Pakistan Services Acts of all forces (Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force) through almost unanimity except a few. The incumbent government should make all-out efforts to take into confidence all the political parties to make legislation on all important issues that are beneficial for the Pakistan and is people, in the same spirit as it had shown while doing for Armed Forces in the country because this country is not only for the armed forces but also for 200 million peoples.

It’s high time for the parliament to get benefit from the amicable situation to legislate such an anti-corruption law in the country that is not based on mala-fide intent to arrest the opponent only. The country needs such an act that can ensure across the board accountability. Regrettably, the present accountability laws are abused by the government. As a result, NAB is not a robust institution that can effectively curb on financial corruption. But if the legislature decides to get rid of this dictator’s legacy law, then other anti-corruption agencies in the country must be forced to work without any favour and fear and transparently in the country. The present government of PTI of which Number One Slogan is justice, must-do for raising the quality of the institution. In this regard, a positive U-Turn is necessary for the country and its peoples. Once the institutions are made robust and transparent, the unnecessary involvement of the superior judiciary and the army will diminish automatically. And then every institution will start respecting the jurisdiction of the other ones.