ISLAMABAD: The PML-N government on Wednesday succeeded in electing the 20-member parliamentary committee chairman formed to amend NAB Ordinance 1999.
However, the opposition parties protested against the government and urged it to withdraw the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2017, but the government refused.
The first meeting of the parliamentary committee on NAB laws was held at parliament house. State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman suggested the name of Zahid Hamid for the chairman's office. Hamid was elected the chairman unopposed. After assuming the office, he sought cooperation of all parliamentary bodies to amend the ordinance.
The committee members include Zahid Hamid, Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Anusha Rehman, Usman Ibrahim, Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Mahmud Bashir Virk, Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha, Syed Naveed Qamar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, SA Iqbal Qadri, Naeema Kishwar Khan Sahibzada Tariqullah, and Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao.
The senators who were included as its members were Farhatullah Babar, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Saud Majeed, Javed Abbasi, Azam Khan Swati, Barrister Ali Khan Saif, and Daud Khan Achakzai.
Opposition lawmakers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Naveed Qamar, Sahibzada Tariqullah and Aftab Sherpao protested and said the government should withdraw the amendment. They said they would give suggestions to amend the NAB laws in the next meetings. NAB should be an independent body and it should work for eradication of corruption in the country and not be used for political victimization, they added.
Senator Farhatullah Babar talked about the accountability of judiciary and armed forces as well. He said that if these institutions were not held accountable then the accountability of politicians and bureaucracy would be considered as victimisation.
To this Hamid said the government would not withdraw the amended ordinance as it was promulgated after a consensus.
Hamid also said the government has presented its viewpoint in shape of Ordinance, adding that "We are open to suggestions to modified the law and obviously these would be incorporated in law to make it more effective."
After a detailed deliberation, the committee approved its rules and terms of reference and decided to keep the meetings closed for media while the opposition lawmakers demanded to open it for media.