The Supreme Court of Pakistan has struck down controversial amendments to accountability laws, giving the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) the power to investigate politicians and bigwigs involved in white-collar crime. This decision has re-empowered the NAB, which had become ineffective due to the amendments. However, cases that have already been closed or disposed of by the NAB or courts will not be reopened. The NAB is currently unable to take action in other cases until the positions of deputy chairman and prosecutor general are filled. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected to reopen cases against former prime ministers and other influential figures, including Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, and Asif Zardari. There is a possibility that the amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 may be reinstated. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawyer Shoaib Shaheen describes the court order as a withdrawal of NRO-II, which granted concessions to PML-N and PTI leaders. The NAB has started assessing the number of cases to be reopened and refers them back to courts. About 1,600 to 1,800 cases are expected to be reopened, but cases that have already been settled will not be investigated again. The NAB’s executive board will review all reopened cases before taking any action, but the board is incomplete due to vacant positions. The NAB must fill those positions to decide its future course of action on reopened cases.

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By hassani

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