After the election reforms bill, President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday has also returned the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill unsigned, claiming that the Bill as enacted by Parliament is regressive in nature and will promote corruption by crippling the long arm of the law. However, according to the ‘deeming’ provision in Article 75 (2) of the Pakistani Constitution, the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will become law even if the President of Pakistan does not sign it. On Monday, the President of Pakistan’s official Twitter account stated, ‘President has not signed the bill altering the NAB Ordinance.’ He claimed that the bill, as initially envisioned, was inspired by Hazrat Umar’s incident when challenged about the source of extra material in his cloak. In financial crimes, the onus is on the accused to provide a money trail. “Unfortunately there were flaws in NABs implementation. It was misused for political exigencies by those in power & by vested interests. While the public clamored for the return of looted wealth, long judicial processes & poor prosecution failed most efforts. Instead of improving the law to avoid miscarriage, close loopholes & make it stronger, we are weakening it beyond recognition. These changes will demolish accountability, creating a façade of justice that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture ensuring the exploitation of the common man in an unjust society. President has not signed the bill amending NAB Ordinance. He wrote that as conceived originally, the bill took inspiration from Hazrat Umar’s incident when asked about source of extra cloth in his cloak. The onus in financial crimes is on the accused to provide a money trail. — The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) June 20, 2022 “Poor will continue to be jailed for petty crimes while corrupt rich will be free to loot & plunder. He said that: I personally abide by the Constitution, we must act upon injunctions of Quran and Sunnah, and above all I am answerable to Allah asking for His forgiveness.” Poor will continue to be jailed for petty crimes while corrupt rich will be free to loot & plunder. He said that:I personally abide by the Constitution, we must act upon injunctions of Quran and Sunnah, and above all I am answerable to Allah asking for His forgiveness. — The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) June 20, 2022 In his rejection summary, the President remarked, “The world has battled to manage white collar crime.” Black money obtained through tax evasion or other routes of crime and corruption, particularly by politically exposed individuals, does not leave obvious tracks or a trail that can be followed. The FATF exercise is an example of decades of work to close all channels of money laundering. We draw inspiration from Islam in this area. “A strong effort for improvement was desperately needed. Our experiences of the last few decades should have guided us; to modify the law, avoid its miscarriage … I believe the Bill as passed by the Parliament is regressive in nature, it will promote corruption by ensuring that the long arm of the law has been crippled. It is also a message to the corrupt who have amassed tremendous wealth, of which there is no doubt in the minds of the people of Pakistan, that they are not accountable and are free to continue to plunder. The small man will be caught for petty crimes while the corrupt rich will remain free to continue with their blood-sucking abhorrent practices. Having weak accountability is against the basic rights of the people of Pakistan who are the suffering masses, and therefore, it is also against the fundamentals of our Constitution itself. “It is sad that rather than structurally improving the institution, the enactment of these amendments is like demolishing the process of accountability without an alternate system being in place, making it sterile and allowing extractive institutions and practices to prosper. Weak laws such as this one, create a facade of justice that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture, and nations that accommodate such laws ensure a very damaging exploitation of the common man, perpetuating an unjust society.” President Alvi also returned the Elections (Amendment) EVM/OP Bill, 2022 unsigned on Sunday, characterizing the bill as ‘anti-progressive and regressive.’ In this regard, he pointed to Article 75 (2) of Pakistan’s Constitution, which states: “When the President has returned a Bill to the Majlis-e Shoora (Parliament), it shall be reconsidered by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting and, if it is again passed, with or without amendment, by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), by the votes of the majority of the members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed for the purposes of the Constitution to have been passed by both Houses and shall be presented to the President, and the President shall give his assent within ten days, failing which such assent shall be deemed to have been given.” He further stated that it was extremely distressing for him as ‘President of Pakistan’ to refuse to sign a bill passed by the Majlis-e-Shoora. As a result, he must document his reasons for posterity.