Consultation over new NAB chief lands govt in a quandary


ISLAMABAD Confusion prevailed in government ranks over the issue of deliberation with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on the appointment of the following Public Liability Bureau (NAB) president as three hutch members issued incongruous statements on the matter.

Hours after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told mediapersons during hispost-cabinet meeting press conference that it had been decided that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not consult Shehbaz Sharif on the appointment of the new chief of theanti-graft watchdog and an enactment would be flashed on Wednesday ( now) to allow necessary NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal to continue in office till his successor was appointed, Law Minister Farogh Naseem heralded in a telly show that Prime Minister Khan would consult the opposition leader on the matter.

“ Although there’s a conflict of interest if Shehbaz Sharif, who’s facing NAB cases, holds discussion, it’s up to him now whether he thinks he should consult the principal minister or not on the matter,” the law minister said.

He said anteriorly it was suggested that Mr Sharif shouldn’t be consulted, but thereafter the government felt that the opposition would name it one-sided if he (Mr Sharif) wasn’t allowed to hold consultations.
The minister said the name of Javed Iqbal was also being considered as the new prolocutor of the division.

He said under the new lawtrial courts ( responsibility courts) would be empowered to grant or reject bails.
Anteriorly, a high– stratum meetingpresided over by Law Minister Farogh Naseem, was held on Tuesday which mulled on amending the Public Unaccountability Statute-1999 (NAO) through an statute to allow required NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal to continue serving in his position till the new chief of the service took over.

Meanwhile, Fawad Chaudhry told mediapersons that the sideboard had asked the opposition to change its Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (Shehbaz Sharif) as he was involved in multiple corruption cases so that a new bone could hold consultations with the top minister to fulfill the natural requisite.
In case they fail to change the opposition leader, he said, the matter of appointing the new chair would be appertained to a governmental commission comprising lawgivers from both sides of the aisle.

“ It’s just as if a larcenist selects his own delving officer,” said the information minister.
“ We’re clear that we won’t consult him (Shehbaz) on the NAB president’s appointment and futurity, we will introduce an constitution that will remove this lacuna (of the government being bound to consult the opposition leader),” Mr Chaudhry said.

Red Zone Files Who’ll be the succeeding NAB speaker?
The primary minister had before assi­gned the task to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to engage with the opposition leaders and invite them to moot proposed emendations to the NAB law.

Talking to Dawn, former prosecutor general responsibility Irfan Qadir said “ Under the NAO no extension can be given to the prolocutor and prosecutor general responsibility (PAG) once their terms end and they can be removed from their positions on the grounds parallel to the riddance of the Supreme Court judges.”

“ But yea in that case, the cases of the NAB moderator and PGA can not be packed to the Supreme Judicial Council, the forum which decides judges’ dumping,” he added.

Mr Qadir said he completed his three eras term in 2006 and, after the ensuing Prosecutor General Blame Danishwar Malik, he was again appointed the PGA in 2010, but the Supreme Court dismissed his appointment and baptized it “ extension” of his job.

Fawad Chaudhry said in the new constitutionfault courts would be strengthened for speedy trial of corruption cases.

“ After which day-to- day hail of corruption cases will be held,” he added.

On the other hand, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan told Dawn that the premier minister had reiterated in the hutch meeting that he’d not consult with Shehbaz Sharif as he was facing three corruption cases.

“ One of his (Shehbaz) cases is fair ripe and nearing a verdict, second is under trial and the third bone is being probed,” Dr Awan said.
“ The provision of talk with the opposition leader has been kept whole in the new statute, but not with Shehbaz Sharif because of doctrine of conflict of interest,” he added.

Dr Awan said soon after the promulgation of the statute, the government would lay it in the form of a bill in the succeeding session of the National Assembly.

“ This will be the equal attempt of the supereminent minister to amend controversial NAB laws; the first bone was bulldozed by the opposition in the Senate, but now the opposition should act sagaciously and help pass the bill from the two houses of the congress,” he said.

The supereminent minister’s lieutenant said Shehbaz Sharif should show grace and step down from the office of leader of the opposition just like he’d ceded the office of Public Accounts Committee ( PACprolocutor to another leader of his party — Rana Tanvir. “ NAB laws shouldn’t be offered for the vagaries of Shehbaz Sharif and his family,” he added.

The four- generation hitch of the compulsory NAB chairretired Justice Javed Iqbal, is set to end in the jury week of the current month.

He’d taken over the charge of his office on Oct 10, 2017.

Mr Iqbal was appointed NAB speaker after the either PML-N government led by former supreme minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the leader of the opposition at that time, Syed Khu­r­shid Shah, reached a unison.

In a kindred development, NAB deputy speaker Hussain Asghar proffered his embrace on Monday. But it has not been officially released by the service.

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