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”.

Shahbaz, in a statement issued on Friday, 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.

The PML-N president 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”.

The Opposition leader 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 government 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.

PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah has announced the party has decided to protest against the NAB ordinance but it is divided on how to challenge it.

The former Punjab law minister said the party will also try to ensure the Opposition remains on the same page over the ordinance. “We will try that the Opposition stands united for this protest,” he said.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also slammed the PTI government after it granted an extension to the NAB chief through a presidential ordinance.

Bilawal Bhutto had said that the extension of Javed Iqbal’s term is “not only illegal but has malicious intent.”

“The selected government wants to continue victimisation of Opposition while ensuring the PM, his family, government and cronies continue to be immune from accountability. Especially post #PandoraPapers,” the PPP leader wrote on Twitter.

 

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