Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Friday termed the amended National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance akin to a ‘no-confidence motion against the parliament’ and an ‘attack on the judiciary’, a private TV channel reported. In a statement issued on Friday, Shahbaz vowed that the joint opposition will give the government a tough time over the ordinance that now allows the NAB chairman to enjoy another four-year term. He said that amendments to the NAB law through the ordinance are ‘unconstitutional and undemocratic’. Shahbaz said that with the 18 major amendments in the ‘already controversial’ NAB law, the government is trying to ‘escape accountability’. He said this ‘black ordinance’ is a step towards establishing ‘personal rule’ through the ‘strangulation of democracy’ in the country. He said that the opposition would not allow the government to ‘snatch away’ the powers outlined for institutions in the constitution and would stop all such measures in consultation with stakeholders. President Arif Alvi on Wednesday promulgated the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, under which NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal will continue to serve the post until a new chairman is appointed and will also be eligible to be renamed as chairman. A day earlier, the PML-N had termed the NAB amendment ordinance an ‘NRO’ for the PTI government, besides being an attack on judiciary and an instrument of meddling with the justice system of the country. Addressing a press conference, flanked by Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal and Khurram Dastgir Khan, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had said the matter should have been brought to the floor of the House where it could have been improved and more widely accepted after a thorough debate and input. “The reason why this legal process was avoided is because this ordinance has provided an absolute NRO to the PTI government,” he had said, adding that a formal notification in this regard had still not been issued but what little was known through a tweet by the president and press conferences of the government ministers and spokespersons that the government has declared itself ‘above accountability’. Abbasi had said that according to the ordinance, nobody can hold the cabinet responsible and accountable for its actions. This, he said, meant that those responsible for the Rs 800 billion sugar theft, hundreds of billions in flour, wheat and medicine theft and corruption cannot be questioned anymore and are free of any consequences for looting the country and its people. “This also meant that nobody would be able to question government’s appointments it also means that the 700 persons listed in the Pandora Papers including five government ministers cannot be questioned by NAB at all. So, basically this is the most comprehensive NRO any government has ever given to itself,” he said, and also pointed out that the ordinance had taken away the judiciary’s constitutional power of appointing judges.