PM steps in to save civil servants from NAB prosecutions

ISLAMABAD: After a meeting with chief secretaries and federal secretaries to listen to their concerns vis-a-vis the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to clip the Bureau’s power to arrest any civil servant, serving or retired, in the garb of “misuse of authority” or for any “procedural lapse”, reported The News.

Sources quoted in the report said the prime minister has directed the law ministry to prepare draft ordinance to amend the NAB law so that the bureaucracy could be saved from NAB’s harassment. The prime minister asked the law minister to do the job at the earliest.

In the meeting, the federal secretaries noted that instead of checking corruption to improve governance, the anti-corruption watchdog had become a hindrance against better service delivery and good governance.

Earlier, the bureaucracy had expressed complete no-confidence in the NAB and its working saying, “The practice of arrest and summons on trivial grounds, aimed at humiliating well-respected civil servants, is against the principles of good governance, hence not acceptable,” reported The Express Tribune.

It further said, “Indiscriminate use of authority by the NAB officers by issuing summons and warrants of senior functionaries on issues related to policy formulation is completely intolerable.”

Sources quoted in the report said that the prime minister assured the bureaucracy that they would be saved from NAB action for any of their decisions taken in good faith. The NAB could only arrest the bureaucrats, serving or retired, on the basis of incriminating evidence of corruption.

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