PPP, PML-N kickstart dialogue on new accountability bill
07 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People's Party on Thursday held negotiations on what they said was a one-point agenda.
Talking to reporters, Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah and Senator Ishaq Dar said representatives of both parties discussed one-point agenda – the accountability bill.
Shah said that the government desired unanimous legislation in parliament. "We want that every law should be unanimously approved," he said.
Dar said that the accountability bill was in the National Assembly's standing committee and they wanted to table it after evolving consensus.
He said that the PPP leaders had given them draft of the new bill that would be presented before PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for approval.
"PPP leaders have provided us a copy of the amended law. The PML-N leadership will first review the document and will then propose amendments, if there are any," Dar said. "It is a lengthy document, we will review it first and then we will decide whether this can be passed unanimously before the end of present government tenure," he added.
PML-N leader said that no discussions were held on the government-backed commission on creating new provinces in Punjab, adding that it was beyond their mandate as the PPP team came today on a single-point agenda.
Law Minister Farooq Naik said that the accountability bill would be passed with consensus. He said the new bill would be drafted according to the aspirations of all stakeholders.
Defence Minister Naveed Qamar and PML-N leader Khawaja Asif were also present during the meeting.
Separately, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said President Asif Zardari and accountability are two contradicting things.
Talking to reporters, the PML-N leader said it seemed impossible to get a good accountability bill passed under Zardari's leadership.
Accusing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) of trying to sabotage the upcoming elections by bringing up the issue of local government, Nisar said that Zardari had a one-point agenda to get re-elected. "The PPP is using public money for this purpose," he alleged.
Nisar claimed that if the new local bodies system was implemented, local government administrators would control elections at town level.
"It's [local government issue] a well-thought-out strategy on the part of the PPP," he said, adding that the new system was meant to rig upcoming general elections.
Referring to the recent talks between the PPP and the PML-N, Nisar said that the ruling party had contacted them with a new proposal for the accountability bill.