May 2005 News

AJK accountability law to be revised

1 May 2005
The Dawn
Tariq Naqash

Muzaffarabad: The AJK government has constituted a committee to recommend amendments to the state’s accountability law in accordance with the constitution. “The committee has been established to review the controversial affairs and present (its) recommendations with regard to bringing the Ehtesab Bureau Act 2001 in conformity with the Interim Constitution of Azad Kashmir (Act 1974),” said a notification issued by the services and general administration department. Headed by minister for law, justice, parliamentary affairs and human rights Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan, the committee includes Raja Farooq Haider Khan, special adviser to AJK prime minister; secretary law, justice, parliamentary affairs and human rights; Brig Mohammad Sajjad, deputy chairman AJK Ehtesab Bureau; representative of Murree-based General Officer Commanding of Pakistan Army; chief prosecutor AJK Ehtesab Bureau; and draftsman law who will also serve as committee’s secretary. Amendment to the Ehtesab Bureau Act has been a highly contentious issue in the AJK since long, with President Sardar Anwar Khan and Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat holding divergent views on the matter. The prime minister has often vowed to amend the accountability law but contrarily the president has categorically ruled out any change that might clip the wings of the accountability bureau. Interestingly, an almost similar committee was formed by the government more than a year ago to recommend suitable amendments to the Ehtesab Bureau Act with Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan its chairman. In last December, the law minister had informed the Legislative Assembly that the committee had finalized its report which was later presented to the prime minister. When contacted on Sunday, the law minister told Dawn that the previous committee had arrived at consensus on some issues but some other “sensitive and delicate” issues which could change the complexion of the accountability law had been left unsettled. After discussion with the ‘powers that be’ the new committee was formed to look into and resolve those issues with a view to brining the law in complete conformity with the interim constitution, the minister said, adding that the new committee would hold its first meeting here on Tuesday.


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