Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Tuesday said that the government would promulgate an ordinance on Wednesday (today) to rectify legal lacunae in the existing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law. Briefing the media after the cabinet meeting, the minister ruled out the possibility of any talks between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif on appointment of NAB chairman. “There is a lacuna in the NAB law as it is silent on what should be done if the leaders of the House or opposition are involved in corruption and money laundering cases,” he said, while urging the opposition to appoint a junior parliamentarian as their leader. He said the cabinet decided not to initiate consultation on the appointment of new NAB chairman with the opposition leader because he is accused of corruption in many cases pending with the accountability court. Any such consultation with Shehbaz Sharif would tantamount to asking a criminal to decide as to whom he would like to be his investigation officer, he said. “It would have been better if the opposition changes the opposition leader, but the problem is that almost all their top leadership is tainted and facing cases in NAB courts,” he remarked. Fawad said, however, the opposition has an option to appoint any junior parliamentarian as the opposition leader in the Lower House. “Opposition should now start searching for a new opposition leader,” he added. To a question, he made it clear that the legislation was not a person-specific, rather it was aimed at further strengthening the institution. The foremost priority was not to compromise the independence of NAB. The minister said the present NAB chairman was appointed during the tenure of the PML-N in consultation of the then opposition leader from PPP. Most of the cases facing by the opposition politicians in the accountability courts were filed before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government came into power, he noted. He said the PTI wished NAB cases to proceed on day to day basis because the people are tired of inordinate delay in the corruption cases. About Pandora Papers revelations, he said the matter also came under discussion during the federal cabinet meeting. Initially, a probe cell has been created under the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission as more than 700 Pakistani citizens were named in the Pandora Papers. Those who were named in the Pandora Papers categorized into four groups. First was related to those who had declared their offshore companies in Pakistan, while those who had not declared their offshore assets in returns are falling under second category which was obviously a ‘tax evasion fraud’. Third category marked those people who did not only open offshore companies but also laundered money through those companies, he said, adding those citizens would be investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency. Likewise, there was another offense under which the offshore companies were not even declared from the beginning. In a first phase, the cell would investigate the heads of those offshore companies and later all the relevant departments would pursue the cases on the basis of that investigation. To another query, he regretted media’s bias against government as the picture of government’s minister were being flashed with Pandora Papers on TV screens but the media house owners, who themselves were named in the papers, are not being shown on their screens. Sharing details of the decisions taken by the Federal Cabinet, Fawad said approval for conducting the new census on the basis of de jure method was given during the meeting. He recalled that some objections were raised over the previous census before the last general election which was held on the basis of provisional census. Later, the matter came under discussion in the Federal Cabinet for multiple times and both the procedures including de jure and de facto opted to worldwide for conducting this exercise was discussed at length.