Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said on Tuesday that the government has removed the “legal lacuna” in the NAB Ordinance 1999 of consulting with the opposition on picking a new chief or extending the incumbent’s tenure.

Addressing a post-cabinet press conference in Islamabad, Fawad said the new ordinance would empower the accountability courts, as the government wanted to strengthen the systems, and not an individual.

The information minister said it would have been better had the opposition proposed a name, but unfortunately, they could not do so.

He reiterated that the government would not hold talks with Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, as he was a suspect in a NAB case.

“Opposition should now start searching for a new leader,” Fawad said, adding that the matter related to the NAB chairman did not come under discussion during the federal cabinet’s meeting.

Earlier, the government amended the National Accountability Ordinance’s (NAO) Section 6 which suggests that the NAB chairman will be appointed by the president in consultation with the leader of the house and the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly for a non-extendable period of four years.

CABINET DECISIONS: The federal cabinet has decided to reduce the sentence of prisoners on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH).

Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan informed the cabinet that the government had tried again to hold talks with the opposition on electoral reforms, but the parties did not give a positive response.

Fawad said the cabinet was also briefed on the revelations made in the Pandora Papers. The Prime Minister’s Office has established a cell under Prime Minister Inspection Commission to investigate the people mentioned in the leaks, he added.

Institutions like the FBR, the FIA, and the NAB would probe them, he continued.

Regarding doctors’ protest against the National Licensing Exam (NLE), Fawad said it seems strange that they want to become doctors “without getting their fitness checked”, adding that the government could not take “risks” in this regard.

After MBBS, NLE examination will also be conducted to assess the medical students, the information minister said.

Speaking about the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT), he said the formula used to assess the exam was the one prevalent “across the globe”.


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