Imran terms amendment in NAB law ‘NRO 2’

Former prime minister Imran Khan lashed out at the federal government on Monday for amending the NAB law, terming the changes to the law as “NRO 2”.

In a series of tweets, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman said that, “Today, with this one amended NAB law, were are heading towards destruction by removing white-collar criminals from accountability.”

“Today is Black Day in Pak's history when Imported govt of crooks amended NAB law comes in ending accountability. Entire economy & pol system of Pak was derailed thru US-backed regime change conspiracy simply to give this cabal of crooks another NRO. PMLN's Dastgir confirmed this,” Imran tweeted as he referred to the revelations made by Khurram Dastgir during a TV show.

Referring to the changes in the NAB law, Imran said, “Rs 1100 bn of the Rs 1200 bn that was being investigated by NAB will now be out of NAB's jurisdiction, giving this criminal mafia their NRO2.”

He added that history will not forgive all those who enabled the ouster of the PTI government.

“At a time when our economy had stabilised & was moving towards sustainable growth of 6%, the conspirators chose to destabilise Pak by sending the economy into a tailspin & dropping a price bomb on our people – just to give these criminals NRO2,” he claimed.

'Relief to Sharifs, Zardaris'

In a press conference in Islamabad, former information minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry alleged that the PML-N and PPP along with other opposition parties linked their support to then-PTI government over FATF legislation to changes in the NAB law.

The PTI leader claimed as a result of changes to the NAB law, Section 14 has been removed. According to Fawad, the said section pertained to the suspect producing evidence of their illegal wealth.

He further claimed that the definition of assets had also been changed in the new law. "Section 21 will help Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield case, whereas Khawaja Saad Rafique will be benefitted in the Ashiana housing scam," the PTI leader maintained.

"An amendment in Section 4 would facilitate Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Fawad stated.

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He added that the government wanted to end the autonomy of NAB and bring it under the control of the interior ministry. The PTI leader furthered that "the government inserted special amendments in the NAB law to facilitate the leaders facing cases linked to Panama Papers". He added that as a result of the changes to the NAB law, there would be no investigations into assets owned by the family of the accused.

Fawad alleged that the first NRO to PML-N was given by former military dictator Pervez Musharraf and now a “second NRO was on the cards”. As a result of the first NRO, cases against the Sharif and the Zardari families were quashed while this ‘second NRO’ is also benefiting both families.

He claimed that the PTI recovered Rs487 billion in its three-year tenure through NAB. He said such recoveries could have been used to subsidise oil and energy prices.

Fawad also referred to the PML-N leader's interview, and claimed that the PML-N leader admitted that Imran was ousted to save the then opposition leadership from accountability.

Dastgir’s claims

Federal Minister Khurram Dastagir had claimed that Imran Khan was ousted because of his plan to extend his rule by having political opponents disqualified by 2022. While referring to a “big change” at the end of the year – a tacit reference to the appointment of new army chief – and Imran’s plan to hire 100 judges to expedite cases against his political opponents, Dastagir had maintained that the PTI chief’s “fascist plans” pushed the then opposition to oust him and come into power.

Dastagir had further claimed that the opposition became united on the basis of “serious information”. “Imran’s ‘fascist plans’ including the mass disqualification of opponents, had made it clear to the rival politicians that he would rule for the next 15 years.”

The minister had maintained that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif – the incumbent prime minister – and other senior leadership of other parties would have been disqualified by the end of the year and left an open field for Imran in the next general elections.

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