The opening round of talks between the federal government’s representatives and a delegation of opposition leaders to discuss potential amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law took place on Tuesday.
The meeting was held in Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem’s chamber, with Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Zahid Hamid, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Rana Sanullah representing the PML-N. The PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar was also present in the meeting.
Following the meeting, Naseem, who along with Ali Mohammad Khan represented the federal government, told the media only that “the opposition parties have presented their perspective regarding the amendments to the NAB law.”
The law minister said that any amendments to the accountability law will be proposed after the government has consulted its allies.
“After the consultation, we will sit down with the opposition again,” he said.
Naseem said that the a proposed bill drafted during the PML-N era neither came up in discussions nor was it brought up by the opposition parties.
The minister remained tight-lipped on the contents of the new bill, saying that “it is not appropriate to do so since a final decision has yet to be taken.”
Ahead of the meeting, Sanaullah, a former law minister of Punjab, had raised his concerns over the NAB law granting 90-day remand of suspects to the accountability watchdog.
“To give 90-day remand is without justification,” he said. “In other serious crimes, a remand of 14 days is granted. The laws that are there without justification will be analysed.”
Sanaullah later described the meeting as “positive”, acknowledging that “the government too wants to make NAB laws transparent.”