ISLAMABAD - Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) is neither in a mood to bring some supra body to oversee the working of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) nor will rush some piece of legislation in the Parliament to clip the powers of the ace accountability apparatus, sources close to Prime Minister disclosed to The Nation.

Sources in the government informed that although ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would get the backing of Pakistan People’s Party in evolving some regulatory mechanism for National Accountability Bureau (NAB) but there was no such plan under consideration of the government right now, a federal cabinet member informed.

Pakistan People’s Party leadership was completely against NAB and throughout its five years term in power the PPP government had attempted to clip the powers of the NAB either by placing it under the control of Ministry of Law and Justice or by strangulating it by complete stoppage of funds to it.

Some insiders in the ruling PML-N informed that some senior PPP parliamentarians have given tacit assurance to the powerful people in the ruling party that in case of some stringent action to curtail the powers of NAB would be taken by the government the main opposition party would fully back it.

Another source in the party said that PPP would fully support the government’s move to rid the country from such institutions which had been used to victimise the political opponents in the past and in this connection assurance to the government was given from quite a senior level in PPP.

Parliamentary sources said that government could revive the activity of working on a plan to replace the incumbent NAB with some new accountability apparatus under the nomenclature of Accountability Commission or some other name, just to put the top hierarchy of the NAB under pressure.

Soon after coming into power, Pakistan People’s Party central leader and the then prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani had announced abolition of NAB, which actually he could not do, because it came into existence through an act of Parliament and only Parliament could abolish it.

Later, throughout its five years term in office Pakistan People’s Party continued its attempt to cripple the national accountability apparatus on one pretext or the other but in the presence of a very strong opposition led by PML-N Ch. Nisar Ali Khan all these moves were not only frustrated but PML-N kept on exerting pressure on PPP government to further enhance its powers and make the body more powerful and financially independent.

For the purpose the then government led by PPP and PML-N opposition parliamentarians had kept their horns locked on the draft bill of bringing a new accountability apparatus under the nomenclature of Accountability Commission, but the proposed Accountability Commission never saw the day light and had never crossed the threshold of Naitonal Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

The Parliamentarians who were also part of the then NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice commenting on the Prime Minister’s criticism on NAB accesses said that it would be extremely difficult for PML-N government to take U turn on its stated position on independent and powerful accountability apparatus by bringing some piece of legislation to curtail its powers or bring it under the control of some supra body because they had been pleading for making it more autonomous and powerful in the past.

Legal and constitutional experts termed the criticism of the prime minister on NAB as baseless and unfounded because in the given situation NAB acts could be challenged in respective high courts of the provinces and finally its decision and acts could be challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The National Accountability Bureau chief, who is jointly appointed by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, is answerable to the superior judiciary and in the recent past the bureau’s top management, including its chairman Ch. Qamar Zaman, was censured and reprimanded by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for showing slackness in its working, a senior lawyer remarked.

Another constitutional lawyer said that the government would not bring in supra body to monitor the working of the NAB as any such body if formed would be challenged and ultimately strike down by the Supreme Court of Pakistan as in the given setup superior judiciary has a supervisory role on the working of the ace accountability apparatus at federal level.