Opposition claims victory in NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice

Hassan Naqvi Staff Reporter

24th Nov, 2021. 09:10 pm

The National Assembly of Pakistan. Image: File

LAHORE: The PTI government suffered another defeat at the hands of the opposition on the second and third amendment bills of the NAB in the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

An important meeting of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice of the National Assembly was held on Wednesday. Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem arrived at the meeting half an hour late with five members of the government and 10 opposition members in attendance.

After a heated debate on the draft legislation, the opposition demanded a vote on which the law minister walked out of the meeting while the Chairman of the committee belonging to the ruling party Riaz Fatyana hastily adjourned the meeting.

The NAB Amendment Bill was hotly debated in the standing committee and the opposition bombarded the minister with questions.

PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah said that the collective decisions of the cabinet have been removed from the scope of NAB in the amendment bill.

He questioned which body would take action on the collective decisions of the cabinet. At this, the law minister replied saying that the FIA and anti-corruption could take action on the matter.

On which Rana Sanaullah said that the head of FIA and anti-corruption is appointed by the government itself.

“The heads of these institutions do not even have legal protection. It would have been better if these matters had remained with NAB,” he argued.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Naveed Qamar said that the lawmakers had lost opportunities in the past and now the MNAs should take advantage of the opportunity to draft objective legislation without any shortcomings and loopholes.

Mahmood Bashir Virk said that the amendments made in NAB law had not been brought in good faith and were based on mala fide intent. He said the extension of the tenure of the chairman NAB was an example of this as people were oppressed by NAB law.

PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the authority to issue ordinances exists only for extremely special circumstances.

“The ordinances issued by the NAB were against the spirit of the Constitution,” he added.  The senior PMLN leader concluded that the NAB amendment bill needed to be discussed in the committee.

Earlier, Alia Kamran said that the government wanted the opposition to walk out over the law minister’s absence so that the important draft legislation is not debated.

PMLN’s MNA Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha said that the NAB amendment bill was the NRO of the government.

Opposition members also demanded a committee vote on the NAB amendment bill. At the protest and insistence of the opposition, the law minister walked out of the meeting saying that he had received an urgent call.

The chairman of the committee, seeing the delicate situation, adjourned the meeting, which was strongly protested by members of the opposition. The opposition claimed that the move was a defeat for the government.