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‘Black day’: President Alvi rejects bill amending NAB Ordinance

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  • “With deep discomfort, I state that my conscience does not allow me to sign this bill,” President Alvi says.
  • Says proposed changes will “demolish accountability”, creating a “façade of justice” that blatantly hides a corrupt elite capture.
  • Imran Khan says today is “black day” as “imported govt of crooks” amended NAB law.

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Monday rejected a bill amending the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Ordinance due to the “flaws in its implementation”.

According to a statement released on the official Twitter handle of the President of Pakistan, Alvi said that as conceived originally, the bill took inspiration from “Hazrat Umar’s incident” when asked about the source of extra cloth in his cloak. “The onus in financial crimes is on the accused to provide a money trail,” the statement read.

“Unfortunately, there were flaws in NAB’s implementation. It was misused for political exigencies by those in power [and] by vested interests,” the president said.

He also reiterated that the public clamoured for the return of the nation’s looted wealth, but long judicial processes and poor prosecution failed most efforts. 

“Instead of improving the law to avoid miscarriage, to close loopholes [and] make it stronger, we are weakening it beyond recognition,” the statement read.

According to the president, the proposed 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.

The president said that the poor will continue to be jailed for petty crimes while the corrupt rich will be free to loot and plunder. 

He said: “I personally abide by the Constitution, we must act upon injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah, and above all, I am answerable to Allah asking for His forgiveness.

“Therefore, with deep discomfort and pain, I state that my conscience does not allow me to sign this Bill.”

He added that “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 the Constitution,” he added

The president acknowledged that he was aware of the fact, in view of the ‘deeming’ provision under Article 75 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, that the NAB (Amendment), 2022 will be enacted into law even if the President of Pakistan does not sign the bill.

‘White-collar criminals’

Meanwhile, taking to his Twitter handle former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan said today was a “Black Day” in Pakistan’s history as “imported government of crooks” amended NAB law comes in ending accountability.

“Entire economy and political system of Pakistan was derailed through US-backed regime change conspiracy simply to give this cabal of crooks another NRO,” he said, adding that PML-N leader Khurram Dastagir confirmed this.

Earlier, during an interview with a private channel, Dastagir had admitted that they [the coalition government leaders] knew that there would be disqualifications on a massive level by the end of this year [if things continued in line with Imran Khan’s plans].

The PTI chairman further noted that at a time when Pakistan’s economy had stabilised and was moving towards sustainable growth of 6%, the conspirators chose to destabilise Pakistan by sending the economy into a tailspin and dropping a price bomb on people — “just to give these criminals NRO”.

“Our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had said societies are destroyed when the poor are jailed while the rich are not held accountable. Today, with this amended NAB law, we are heading towards destruction by removing white-collar criminals from accountability,” he added.

The ousted prime minister pointed out that Rs1,100 billion of the Rs1,200 billion that was being investigated by NAB will now be out of NAB’s jurisdiction, giving this “criminal mafia their NRO.

“History will neither forget nor forgive all those who were part of [and] enabled this conspiracy against Pakistan to succeed,” he concluded.

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Zaidong, the ambassador, said China will fully back Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations.

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Reaffirming on Thursday that China will provide Pakistan with unwavering support in its fight against terrorism is Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong.

In an interview that was broadcast on television, the ambassador promised to cooperate with Pakistan and said that China will protect the interests and safety of the citizens of the two friendly nations.

Zaidong underscored that efforts to undermine the two nations’ bilateral relationship would be thwarted by China’s cooperation with Pakistan.

Also, he emphasized how crucial China-Pakistan relations have become strategically given the changing nature of the world.

In highlighting the transformative impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the ambassador reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to seeing it through.

In addition to creating thousands of employment, he said, “the CPEC has facilitated significant advancements in power generation and transportation infrastructure with over $25 billion in direct investments and substantial infrastructure development.”

Zaidong stressed the value of sharing ideas and knowledge between Pakistan and China, acknowledging their shared security objectives.

Stressing that both countries have a common future, he envisioned their partnership having a greater social impact.

Concerning the terrorist attack on Chinese nationals [working on the Dasu dam], the ambassador expressed gratitude to the Pakistani people for their condolences and sympathy and commended the government for its prompt action.

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Mild rain in Lahore improves the weather

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Early on Friday, light rain in the province capital Lahore and its surrounding areas improved the weather.

But rain also led to power outages in several areas of Lahore, as multiple feeders of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) blew, leaving whole sections of the city without power.

Details show that rain was observed in a number of locations throughout the city, including Model Town, Gulberg, Garden Town, Mall Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Gulshan Ravi, Jail Road, and Sanda.

However, the Met Office has forecasted an additional day of rain for the city during the next 24.

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The government will begin coordinated action against lawbreakers in the Katcha region

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On Friday, Mohsin Naqvi, the interior minister, announced that the government would begin a coordinated operation in the Katcha region to eradicate the miscreants for good.

He stated that collaborative efforts in the Katcha region will make use of contemporary technologies, including drones.

According to Mohsin Naqvi, all security agencies, including the police, should make sure that SOPs are fully implemented in order to protect Chinese nationals living in Pakistan.

He declared that any carelessness in this respect will not be accepted at all while presiding over a meeting to review the National Action Plan’s implementation at NACTA headquarters in Islamabad.

According to Naqvi, failure to follow the SOPs for the safety of foreign nationals will result in severe disciplinary action.

“We have to outfit our departments with cutting-edge technology to eradicate terrorism,” stated the interior minister. He declared that the provinces will receive all the assistance from the federation in this area.

Anti-state forces will be permanently driven out of the Katcha region, according to Naqvi. The interior minister expressed satisfaction with the anti-smuggling operations and stated that all ministries need to make sure that smugglers face stern legal action.

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