In a blow to PTI, govt appoints new NAB Chairman

Lt Gen (r) Nazir Ahmad notified as NAB chief after PM Shehbaz, Opposition Leader Raja Riaz hold ‘consultations on important constitutional issues’ n Fawad says PTI’s opposition leader Qureshi not consulted for key posting.

ISLAMABAD     -    The federal government Saturday notified the appointment of Lt Gen (retired) Nazir Ahmad as the new Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for three years.

The notification to this effect was issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice. According to official sources, Nazir’s name for the powerful position was finalised after detailed deliberation between the Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader.

According to officials, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz on Saturday in Lahore and both the leaders discussed the prevailing political situation.

“During the meeting, they exchanged views on matters of mutual interest. They also held consultations on important constitutional and legal issues,” says the press release issued after the meeting. Former NAB chairman Aftab Sultan had resigned last month citing interference and pressure.

It is important to mention here that the government did not consult Pakistan Tehreek- e-Insaf party for finalising the name of Nazir Ahmad as NAB chief. On Feb 21, PTI Chief Whip Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar had written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf demanding him to initiate the process for changing the opposition leader as the Lahore High Court suspended the de-notification of PTI MNAs. In the letter, Dogar said the new opposition leader should be from PTI who would carry out consultation with the Leader of the House for the appointment of the new NAB chief. PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry termed the appointment of the new NAB chief “controversial”. He said the LHC had suspended the notification of the resignation of PTI MNAs, following which the party had appointed Shah Mahmood Qureshi as its opposition leader. “The consultation process was not carried out,” he said.

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