ISLAMABAD - The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday in the Senate told the opposition that it was ready to bring amendments in the accountability law to address its weaknesses as well as strengthen it.

The government made this offer in the house after the opposition criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and National Accountability Ordinance 1999 with the demand to disband the anti-corruption watchdog and repeal the accountability law.

Responding to the criticism from the opposition, Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Wasim said that the government was ready to address loopholes in the accountability law but the intent should be to make the accountability process fair, transparent and across the board, and not to escape accountability. He said that accountability and credibility should go together.

He came down hard on the opposition, saying it was playing up the recent judgment of the Supreme Court on corruption cases against PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Suleman Rafique. He added that the weaknesses pointed out by the apex court in the accountability law need to be addressed.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court in a detailed verdict described NAB’s conduct in dealing with the Paragon Housing Society corruption case against two PML-N leaders as “a complete disregard to the law, and fair play.”

The leader of the house asked the opposition not to be selective in admiring and accepting superior courts’ verdicts. He said the observations given in para 93 of the judgment will have no effect on the outcome of the reference.

He said that PML-N and PPP never tried to made changes in the accountability law that was promulgated during General (retd) Pervez Musharraf regime.

Earlier, Former Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said the Parliament must play its role to make a new accountability law and suggested the formation of a joint parliamentary committee of both houses of the parliament in this regard.

He proposed that a federal accountability commission should be formed for across the board accountability of judiciary, military, civil service and lawmakers or politicians.

He said the proposed commission should have representation of all the stakeholders.

He said the arbitrary powers of NAB Chairman including those for arrests and plea bargain deals should go to the proposed commission.

“The parliament would be remembered as a criminal in the history, if it didn’t play its role now.”

PML-N Senator Javed Abbasi demanded for convening of Committee of the Whole to discuss the Supreme Court’s remarks about NAB in Paragon Housing Society corruption case

“The judgment observed that the accountability law had been used to pressurise people to switch loyalties, break parties, arms twisting of the opponents and for political engineering.”

He said that the parliament should discuss the accountability law and formulate a future plan.

The parliamentary leader of PML-N in the Senate Mushahid Ullah Khan said the NAB was being used for victimization of political opponents. He said the Supreme Court judgment has exposed both NAB and the government.