— File photo
ISLAMABAD: The opposition proposed to the government the name of former Chief Justice Ajmal Mian on Friday for the post of chairman of the National Accountability Bureau and reliable sources said the two sides had reached an agreement on the name.
But, the sources added, the decision might be officially announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday when the two sides would meet again and take a formal decision in this regard. It may be mentioned that on Sept 13, the Supreme Court took a serious notice that major operations of NAB had come to a halt in the absence of a chairman and asked the government to make the appointment soon or ready to face the consequences.
The government sought a one-week time which ended on Friday.
After meeting the prime minister on Friday, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah said: “I proposed the name of Ajmal Mian and no new name was given by the prime minister.”
A source told Dawn that four names proposed earlier, two each by the government and the opposition, had been rejected and now there was one name on the table — Justice retired Ajmal Mian.
The government had earlier proposed the names of retired Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery and former federal secretary Khwaja Zaheer Ahmed and the opposition the name of retired Justice Bhagwandas and retired Justice Sardar Raza.
Justice Ajmal Mian,79, remained the acting chief justice of the Supreme Court from Feb 28, 1997, to March 4, 1997; from May 30, 1997, to June 19, 1997; from Oct 10, 1997, to Oct 13, 1997; and from Dec 3, 1997, to Dec 23, 1997. He was made permanent chief justice on Dec 23, 1997, and retired on June 30, 1999.
The role of Justice Ajmal Mian became controversial when he reportedly allowed a coup within the Supreme Court against Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah in Nov 1997 when Mr Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister.
A senior PPP leader told Dawn that the name of Ajmal Mian was proposed by the PPP after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan opposed another PPP nominee, retired Supreme Court judge Sardar Raza.
The last NAB chief, Admiral retired Fasih Bokhari, was removed by the Supreme Court on May 28, after declaring his appointment illegal.
CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER: The leader of opposition urged the prime minister to immediately appoint Chief Election Commissioner.
“I asked the prime minister that now our consultation should be started on the issue of appointment of the chief election commissioner,” Mr Shah said.