ISLAMABAD    -    The federal cabinet on Thursday appointed Aft­ab Sultan, a retired police officer and former chief of civilian intelligence agency, as chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the coun­try’s top anti-corruption watchdog.

Like past, the NAB is in the limelight for the last few weeks af­ter the ruling coali­tion led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) got passed amendments in the country’s accountabili­ty law from the parlia­ment. The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) is seeing this move tantamount to mak­ing the bureau powerless and the party has chal­lenged the amendments in the Supreme Court. In exercise of the powers conferred by section 6 of the National Accountabil­ity Ordinance 1999, the federal government has appointed Sultan (a re­tired BS-22 officer of Po­lice Service of Pakistan) as NAB chief, says a no­tification issued by the Ministry of Law and Jus­tice. The appointment has been made after con­sultations between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposi­tion in the Nation Assem­bly Raja Riaz Ahmed, as required under the law, for a non-extendable pe­riod of three years, ac­cording the notification. It added that the terms and conditions during the service of new chairman NAB will be the same as admissible to the judge of the Supreme Court. The powerful position of NAB chief was vacant since July 2 when its last chair­man Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had relinquished the charge of his office af­ter remaining on the post for an extended term of over four and a half years. Aftab Sultan remained Di­rector General of Intelli­gence Bureau (IB) twice, first during the govern­ment of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and then during the tenure of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He also served as the police chief of Punjab during the 2013 general elections.