LAHORE - Following the arrest of Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last week, the government now seems determined to make changes in the laws governing the jurisdiction of the anti-graft body.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Naeemul Haq minced no words on Sunday when he said in unequivocal terms that the government was considering making changes in the NAB laws to streamline its procedures.

Talking to the media along with PML-Q chief Ch Shujat Hussain at latter’s residence here, Naeemul Haq expressed his dismay over NAB’s handling of the corruption cases and said that the government will contact the opposition parties to seek their cooperation to amend the laws.

He also showed concern over inordinate delay in disposal of cases pending with the NAB since years. He added that the government was also doing its home work to amend the CrPC and other laws for speedy disposal of cases. The PM’s special assistant disagreed with a questioner that the government was doing so after the arrest of one of its ministers. To justify his assertion, Naeemul Haq cited examples of numerous complaints coming against the anti-graft body from the business community residing in Karachi.

Naeemul Haq is not the first PTI leader to show resentment against the NAB authorities in a spate of criticism coming from different quarters.

Speaking in a TV talk show last week, PTI lawmaker Malik Aamir Dogar claimed that he had got prepared a draft bill to be tabled in the National Assembly to amend the NAB laws. He said he would contact the opposition parties to enlist their support for passage of the bill. Responding to the PTI lawmaker in the same talk show, PML-N lawmaker Mian Javeed Latif assured his party’s full support to the PTI to make necessary amendments in the laws.

In a situation when the main stream opposition parties including the PPP and the PML-N are already up against NAB for penalising their leaders, a similar reaction coming from the government side is indicative of a gathering political storm against the accountability bureau.

Since the PTI does not have the required numerical strength both in the Senate and the National Assembly, it is seeking support from the opposition parties to proceed against the bureau.

The proposed legislation which is clearly aimed at clipping NAB’s wings might become a uniting force for all the political parties in the Parliament. The opposition parties will surely dictate their terms in exchange for their cooperation.