Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Sunday said that a consensus had been reached to appoint Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Speaking to journalists in Rohri in Sukkur, Shah said that the names recommended by Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement were good but the name of Justice Iqbal has been agreed upon after consultation.
“Today was last day to finalise the appointment of the NAB chairman. A summary was to be moved today,” Shah said, adding that he had discussed two or three names with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over the phone earlier.
The PPP leader added that Iqbal has a good reputation and had performed well as the head of the Abbottabad Inquiry Commission, which the PPP government had formed to probe the controversial 2011 raid by US Special Forces in which Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed.
After investigating circumstances leading up to the raid, Justice Iqbal had submitted a 700-page report to the government.
Speaking to the media, Shah expressed hope that Iqbal would serve the country well under his new appointment and that Pakistan would continue to hold regular elections within a democratic process.
He maintained that he wished PPP leader Manzoor Wassan’s dream that no elections would be held in 2018 would not come true.
Under the National Accountability Ordinance, the appointment of NAB chairman is made by the prime minister in consultation with the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. The first contact between Prime Minister Abbasi and Shah was made on Sept 13. A PM House statement had said they had agreed to follow the process of the appointment of the NAB chairman strictly in accordance with legal provisions.
The four-year term of incumbent NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry will end on Oct 10.
Shah added that the PPP had challenged the recently passed Elections Act 2017, saying that just as the PTI has its on way of conducting politics, PPP does as well. “While the PTI comes out on the streets, the PPP has sought recourse with the law over the Elections Act.”
Last week, the government had bulldozed the law through the National Assembly despite strong protests from opposition lawmakers.
The law features a controversial amendment that will allow politicians disqualified from holding public office to head a political party.