PTI AJK rejects the amendment of the Accountability Bureau Act;

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Declares it an attempt to protect the corrupt mafia, Barrister Sultan,

MIRPUR (AJK):    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday categoricallh rejected the amendments made in the Accountability Bureau Act by the incumbent PML-N – led Azad Jammu Kashmir Government.

“The AJK government has passed the Accountability Bureau (Sixth Amendment) Act, 2020, drastically changing the accountability law which made it to a spineless body”.
These views were expressed by former Prime Minister and President of PTI AJK Chief Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry here on Saturday in response to a notification issued by the Government of AJK.

The notification on the amendment of the Act was issued without getting it signed by the President of Azad Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan.

He called the amendments to the Accounting Act a mala fide attempt to protect the presently ruling politicians and the blue-eyed officials from accountability, which is a cruel and irresponsible act and is against the public interest. Barrister Sultan said that over the years, the N-League government has plundered the state treasury without fear of accountability and has now harshly amended the Accountability Act to save its skin. The ruling government knows that there will be no space for the corrupt mafia in AJK once PTI AJK assumes charge of the government in the upcoming elections due in June 2021.

Therefore, the AJK Government is trying to protect itself from accountability by clipping the Accountability Bureau’s powers. Barrister Sultan Mahmood questioned that if the government employees were given legal protection from accountability, who would be afraid of breaking the law and how the bureaucracy could be free of corruption. In past, the Accountability Bureau had reasonable administrative, legal and judicial powers, which have now been slashed and the Bureau has been left at the mercy of the government. Before the amendment, the Bureau authorities could hold the record of any office.

The Bureau officials were authorized to suddenly raid government offices. However, after the amendment, they would have to request the secretary of the concerned department to provide record related to any case. The question is, how can the secretary of a department against which corruption complaints are made, cooperate with the accountability bureau and stand against its officers? And now the Chief Prosecutor will be appointed at the government will. Here, the question is how can he put the government agencies or officials in the lurch of accountability when his/her own job does not have any legal protection?

He lamented that the AJK Government has widely misused the funds received from the Federal Government for socio-economic development and particularly for the rehabilitation of the victims around the Line of Control. PTI would come to power in Azad Kashmir and establish a transparent accountability system which would eliminate the misuse of public money. The corrupt mafia who own resources beyond their means as well as their political masters whose hands are soaked in the illegal money and land grabbing, will be brought to the court of law, Barrister Sultan Mahmood maintained. PTI wants to have an empowered, impartial and autonomous Accountability Bureau and Government or administration should not have any influence on it, he remarked.