ISLAMABAD The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice approved the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), amid uproar and walkout by the opposition members, and sent it to the National Assembly for legislation. The committee deleted clause four and five, which barred the arrest of a Parliamentarian without prior approval of the special ethics committee of the Parliament. At the same time in clause seven of the ordinance, a number of changes were proposed, with deletion of the word 'public office holder, and the suggestion to settle the cases through courts. The clause-wise review of the NRO sent to the Parliament for review by the Supreme Court of Pakistan was approved by the committee members through a thin majority, with seven votes coming in its favour while six in opposition. The members of the committee belonging to MQM and a member belonging to PML(Q) forward Bloc Riaz Fatiana stayed away from the voting process while an independent MP, Saeed Zafar, voted in favour of it. Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at his Parliament House chamber, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Ch. Nisar Ali Khan made it loud and clear that they would oppose NRO tooth and nail both inside and outside the Parliament. It is a black law and in case enacted by the Parliament, all options including moving the apex court are open, Ch. Nisar responded to a question when asked if they would move the Supreme Court in case the NRO was given the nod by the Parliament. The committee decided that the NRO would be enforced w.e.f October 5, 2007 and people who had availed the ordinance till today would enjoy immunity. Prior to the voting, committee member Amir Muqam once again demanded the details of all those who had benefited from the NRO so as to know whether only political cases were dropped, or elements involved in criminal cases like murder had also benefited from it. During voting on the ordinance, committee members belonging to PML(N) boycotted the meeting against the approval of the ordinance in haste, while MQM members and a PML-Q forward bloc member stayed away from voting. The committee in its meeting reviewed the NRO section-wise and conducted voting. It approved the first section, with 6 in favour to 1 against, under which the NRO would come into force with effect from October 5, 2007, and section 2, under which civil and criminal cases registered for political victimization between January 01, 1986 to October 12, 1999 would be ended while the federal and provincial governments could set up a review board for ending such cases. Under Section 3 approved by the committee, section 39 of the Public Representation Act 1976 has been amended, which bounds the returning officer to provide a copy of election results to the contesting candidate or its polling agent after devising results. Objecting to the section, PML(N) proposed that it should be made part of wide electoral reforms and should be deleted from the NRO. The committee then deleted sections 4 and 5 of NRO from the law, upon the demand of PML(N), which required prior permission from the Special Ethics Committee of the Parliament for the arrest of any MNA or MPA in a criminal case. PML(N) Zahid Hamid said that under the above sections, the parliamentarians got supremacy over a common man, which is a clear violation of Article 25A of the Constitution. The committee approved section 6, which said that the court could not give verdict against any person without his presence, and also approved section 7 with the incorporation of some changes, including deletion of the world 'public office holder and addition of a clause that makes the closure of corruption cases against any person possible only with the permission of a court of law. Talking to media persons after the meeting, Chairperson of the committee Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry said NRO was a dictator-made law and they were not interested in its review at all but they did it on the direction of the apex court. A PML(N) member of the committee said that the matter was bulldozed and they were not heard properly on the matter, leaving them with no choice but to walk out of the committee proceedings. Terming it a black law, PML(N) MP Zahid Hamid said that they would oppose its passage from the Parliament and raise their voice against it at all forums. PML(Q) MNA Amir Muqam, commenting on the committee proceedings, said that they had demanded the list of the beneficiaries of the ordinance but were not provided with it. He said they wanted to know who had benefited from this law and how many cases of criminal nature, including murder, were withdrawn under the said ordinance. To a question, he said that even at the time of its promulgation by former President Gen. Pervez Musharraf they had expressed their reservation on it. He said that they would oppose its enactment from the Parliament and his party would vote against it. The meeting of the committee was held here on Friday with Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry in the chair, and was attended by Naveed Qamar, Shakila Khanum Rashid, Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokar, Zafar Ali Shah, Tariq Shabir, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor of PPP; Independent candidate Saeed Ahmad Zafar; Anusha Rehman, Justice (Retd) Iftikhar Ahmad Cheema, Zahid Hamid, and Saira Afzal Tariq of PML-N; Amir Muqam and Raza Hayat Hiraj of PML-Q; and Riaz Fityana from PML-Q forward bloc.