Pakistan

Govt to pass ordinance to ban plea-bargain beneficiaries from public office

ishaq-dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Saturday said that the government will issue a new accountability ordinance to tighten laws against corruption and financial embezzlement by government officials.  

The finance minister said that the ordinance which will be issued by midnight will bar government officials who have benefit from the controversial plea-bargain law of the National Accountability Bueau (NAB) from seeking any public office.

The minister while addressing a press conference said an amendment will be made to Section 25-A of the NAB Ordinance, and will be presented in the parliament on Monday. The ordinance will be implemented immediately after approval from the Prime Minister.

He said that the government will make laws stricter including imprisonment for government officials and public servants involved in financial embezzlement and corruption, who would also be banned for life from holding any public office.

Dar said the government has a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy over corruption. He said that that Supreme Court had asked the government for its stance on the plea bargain law and it was necessary to draw a line.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid further elaborated and said that the plea bargain and voluntary returns laws have been merged, and will now need to be approved by the court. The individual who returns the embezzled amount will be deemed convicted and will be disqualified if he hold public office.

The controversial plea-bargain law has received criticism from judiciary, opposition parties and civil society for allowing corrupt official to go sc0t-free from corruption.

Recently the NAB granted plea-bargain to former finance secretary of Balochistan Mushtaq Raisani who was involved in a Rs40 billion corruption against a voluntary return of Rs2 billion.

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