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September 17, 2020

Accountability?

Newspost

 
September 17, 2020

This refers to the article ‘The accountability syndrome’ (Sep 15) by Sakib Berjees. The writer has rightly criticised the NAB ordinance. In our country, the universally accepted principle in the justice system ‘innocent unless proven guilty’ is being ignored. NAB has been under sharp criticism since its inception due to the vast powers given to its chairman regarding arrests and detention.

In the Saad Rafique case, the SC made observations that the case was mishandled. However, those SC remarks had no effect at all. Nowhere in the world, you will see that arrests are made without sufficient evidence. Ours is a unique system where discretionary powers overrule the constitution and arrests are made on a whim. In the LDA City corruption case, NAB cleared Ahad Cheema after two years. The question is: how can he be compensated for the painful 16-month-long detention? The Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman case also raises questions on NAB’s handling of certain cases. He was arrested in a 35-year-old property case. There is an immediate requirement to amend the NAB ordinance. While no one is against accountability, it is important that it should be done according to the constitution and other related laws.

Mukhtar Ahmed

Karachi