THAT the government intends introducing a new accountability law. as agreed by major political parties in the Charter of Democracy, is welcome news provided the legislation makes sure that the system it evolves sidesteps the failings so glaringly visible in the operation of the National Accountability Bureau. Speaking to the media at Qasim Bela area in Multan where he had gone to inaugurate a main road on Sunday, Prime Minister Gilani maintained that the method of accountability would be transparent and "every influential and prominent personality" could become subject to it. Under the prevailing circumstances when corrupt practices are the order of the day it is, indeed, a tall order. Nevertheless, if the government were really interested in giving the people good governance, it would have to perform the challenging task of cleansing the body politic of these nefarious deeds. It is no secret that the NAB was used by the Musharraf regime as an instrument of victimisation on a large scale in order to garner support for the King's Party to lend legitimacy to the military takeover. Political personalities refusing to support General Musharraf were implicated on one charge or the other, while those jumping on the Army's bandwagon were rewarded with important official assignments and their sins considered washed away. NAB had become so involved in political manoeuvrings that it would turn a blind eye to cases of fraud running into billions of rupees, negating its raison d'tre. Instead of helping detect cases of misappropriation and defalcation, it helped the alleged culprits escape the clutches of the law. The Bank of Punjab scam is a case in point in which the alleged culprits were allowed to slip away. NAB's method of exonerating criminals through 'plea bargain' has also been a subject of severe public criticism. Thus, the Bureau has lost credibility. There is dire need to rectify the system and one hopes that the new legislation would take care of it. The Prime Minister also talked of winding up the employment taskforce. But the method of recruitment he now visualises is highly questionable. To quote his words: "Now the ministers and parliamentarians will hold open courts and get the people jobs matching their qualifications." Under such a system, nepotism and favouritism will flourish at the expense of merit. Recruitment should be strictly left to the Public Service Commission as today, and it must be ensured that ministries or departments, where they are charged with this task, strictly abide by rules and regulations.