It is true that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has failed in eliminating corruption that is rampant in Pakistan. Instead of devising strategies and mechanism to make recoveries, it relied on plea bargains. With the concept of plea bargains, the whole concept of accountability becomes redundant.

Whatever the intentions of the political parties are behind replacing NAB with a commission i.e. National Accountability Commission (NAC), the criticism of NAB’s plea bargain approach of making recoveries by political parties was not misplaced. Thus a parliamentary committee started working on drafting a new law for the purpose of ensuring accountability in the country.

In a surprising shift from its earlier position, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) has not only changed its member of the said committee but also moved away from its earlier position. Instead of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shireen Mazari attended the last proceeding of the committee that was held on 11 October.

PTI, which was initially hostile to the idea of extending NAB’s jurisdiction to probe into the corruption of judicial and military personnel, now wants across the board accountability. What explains this shift? Nothing has been said in this regard. The PTI now stands diametrically opposed on a major policy position with not even a hint of their reasoning. More importantly, what was a general consensus in the committee – that NAB’s jurisdiction will not be extended to the military and the judiciary – now stands wide open again.

To complicate proceedings further, it seems that instead of coming up with a new law on operations of NAB, PTI wants amendments to the previous ordinance. Having reservations on the draft of the government proposed bill, PTI will come up with its own draft of proposals, as Shireen Mazari stated.

Given these new, and conflicting stances, we can reasonably expect a new law on NAB is not coming anytime soon. With the recent episode of the election bill in mind, the PTI seems to be wary of the fact that Nawaz Sharif and his family members are tried under the existing law. The new NAB legislation will have to wait.