Challenges before new NAB chief

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ANNOUNCEMENT of a nominee to replace the incumbent Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) well within the timeframe augurs well for the system and the country. Credit goes to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for initiating the process at an appropriate time and holding consultations with the Leader of the Opposition, Syed Khurshid Shah, for the purpose. The Government has also shown large-heartedness and a spirit of accommodation by accepting nomination of one of those proposed by the Leader of the Opposition viz retired Justice Javed Iqbal.
We believe that all the names proposed by the Government as well as the opposition parties were, by and large, equally capable and competent personalities with required credentials to head the accountability institution. Unfortunately, we are in the habit of politicising all moves and developments, as it has become our habit to see things from vested angles and with particular mirrors. Justice Javed Iqbal has varied and rich experience to discharge his new assignment as per expectations of the people. His reputation as judge of the Supreme Court, head of the Commission probing Abbottabad Inquiry Commission and Chairman of the Judicial Commission mandated to trace missing persons has been impeccable. Despite serious obstacles and intricacies, he was able to help recover 2,700 missing persons and thereby contributed a lot in satisfying the families who had been frequently agitating the issue on the roads of Islamabad. Justice Javed Iqbal would be assuming charge of the coveted office at a crucial moment as there is greater awareness among people about the growing menace of corruption and the need to root it out. In the past, NAB could not make an impact in eradicating the menace and there is a perception that its entire endeavour is confined merely to awareness. There were also serious reservations of the people over the plea bargain provision in the law, which is considered to be one of the offshoots of corruption itself. Nowadays, it is also a common perception that only Sharif family is being targeted in the name of accountability. Under these circumstances the new NAB Chief must act, without fear and favour, against all those who indulge in corruption whether in the government or in the opposition in order to save reputation of his organisation.