KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah addressed the opposition’s reservations in the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday regarding the provincial government’s decision to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.
Countering criticism by the opposition, Murad Ali Shah pointed out that repealing the ordinance in question fell well within the jurisdiction of the provincial government and said a Sindh Accountability Commission would be formed to investigate allegations of corruption.
The chairman of the Accountability Commission, to be nominated by the assembly, would be independent, the minister said. The chairman would put together a committee which would comprise of opposition members and the speaker, he added.
“Under which law can we not repeal the [National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999]? NAB [is not answerable] to anyone. Whatever it investigates, nobody else can question,” he said.
Murad Ali Shah alleged that the NAB has given a clean chit to several companies and individuals who were found to be involved in fraud.
“The opposition called the speaker and the entire assembly dishonest. That’s wrong. Do not doubt our intentions,” he lamented, noting that the alternative to the anti-NAB bill would only be passed following due process.
Murad Ali Shah also invited the opposition to present amendments to the bill and said all reservations would be duly addressed.
On July 3, the Sindh Assembly passed the ‘anti-NAB bill’, which was tabled by the provincial government. The bill seeks to revoke the NAB’s functions in the province.
The bill, however, has been vehemently opposed by some. Governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair has said repealing the NAO is against public interest, adding “it is our responsibility to ensure the elimination of corruption.”
Opposition stages walkout in protest
Earlier today, the opposition staged a walkout from the provincial assembly in protest of the anti-NAB bill.
MQM-Pakistan leader Faisal Subzwari, speaking to the media, rejected the bill saying it was an attempt to cover the irregularities carried out by the corrupt.
“We reject this [anti-NAB] bill and will challenge it in the court,” he vowed.