The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has decided to challenge the amendments to the National Accountability Bill, which clipped the powers of the graft-buster, in the Supreme Court as it accused the incumbent government of favouring the “elite and the corrupt class” of society.
“We are requesting to the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of this while keeping Asfanyar Wali case in view. And we have decided to challenge this and our legal team is working on it,” PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday.
The Senate on Friday passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill 2021, amid the opposition benches’ protest.
The bill sought an amendment to NAB Ordinance 1999. Under it, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) retd Javed Iqbal would not be able to continue in the office as the incumbent government has removed the clause inserted by the PTI granting extension to him until the time of the appointment of his successor.
“They have made amendments to such sections that deal with bank transactions. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be a direct beneficiary of the amendment to Section 9 and subsection A(5),” he said, “Similarly, [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif will be the direct beneficiary of the amendment to the Section 14 because the accused had present the money trail.”
He alleged that the government has changed the definition of ‘benami’. “A blanket cover has been given to influence the money laundering and asset beyond means cases.”
Criticising the government for bringing tweaks to the Elections Bill, Qureshi said the government has deprived the overseas Pakistanis of their rights.
“We gave the voting rights to overseas Pakistanis because of three reasons; firstly, they are the biggest contributor to Pakistan’s economy and are an important asset. Secondly, many expatriates can play an important role in the country’s policy. Lastly, we intended to maintain the interest of expatriates’ next generation in Pakistan,” the PTI leader said.