President Alvi returns NAB ordinance, election reforms bills to PM for reconsideration

06:24 PM | 4 Jun, 2022
President Alvi returns NAB ordinance, election reforms bills to PM for reconsideration
Source: The President of Pakistan (Twitter)

ISLAMABAD – President Arif Alvi on Saturday sent back the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and electoral reforms amendment bills to Prime Minister for review.

A press release issued by the Presidency said both laws passed by the Parliament have been reverted to the relevant committees for reconsideration.

Last month, the National Assembly passed National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021, and took away the extended detention power from an antigraft watchdog and the authority to probe decisions taken by federal and provincial cabinets.

President Alvi maintained that the law opposed Article 46 of the Constitution, which mandates the premier to keep the president informed of, among other things, all the proposed legislation the government intends to table in the Parliament.

He observed that the bill was passed in ‘haste and without due diligence’ by the legislators. “The legislation having a far-reaching impact on the society should have been discussed in detail in consultation with the legal fraternity and civil society,” he maintained.

It continued that the amendment will make it impossible for the prosecution to prove cases of corruption and misuse of official authority by the State and bury the process of accountability in Pakistan.

President also called the proposed amendments opposing to the ‘spirit of Islamic Jurisprudence’, as he quoted the example of the second Rashidun caliph who was questioned by a citizen.

Alvi also reverted the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 to PM Sharif and the Parliament for reconsideration. He expressed concern about overseas Pakistanis who according to him were deprived of voting rights.

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The president observed the system was supposed to be tested during the by-election held after the 2018 general elections despite the court’s order.

He also rejected the objections that electronic voting machines could be hacked, saying digital financial transactions take place every day without any glitches.