PML-N members walk out of NA panel meeting
ISLAMABAD: The opposition members belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) on Thursday staged a walkout from the meeting of a National Assembly standing committee after it failed to take up the much-delayed accountability law due to the absence of members from treasury benches, including Law Minister Babar Awan.
Talking to a group of reporters at the Parliament House after the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Zahid Hamid and Anusha Rehman of the PML-N blasted the government for its “non-serious attitude” towards the important piece of legislation that has been pending before the committee for well over a year.
They regretted that neither the law minister nor the minister of state attended the meeting, which showed “absolute lack of desire” on the part of the government to finalise the law.
Not only were the government functionaries absent, but apart from one member all the others belonging to the ruling coalition also stayed away from the proceedings, they said.
Moreover, they said, the report finalised by the standing committee four months ago was given to them only on their vehement demand. They were of the view that the report that was provided to them on their insistence required a detailed study to determine which of the decisions made in the past 27 meetings held so far had been incorporated into it.
Chairperson of the committee Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry of the PPP had convened the meeting to discuss the notes of dissent submitted by the opposition and a PPP member on the draft of the accountability law seeking to replace the National Accountability Bureau with a powerful National Accountability Commission.
The standing committee had on April 15 this year approved the bill, but the government later decided to defer its presentation before the parliament till achieving a consensus on its draft.
The PML-N members and Syed Zafar Ali Shah of the PPP had submitted notes of dissent on various clauses of the bill, which was tabled by the law minister, Babar Awan, in the assembly in April last year.