NAB chief appointment: Ishaq Dar contacts Khurshid Shah

September 14, 2013

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Ishaq Dar and Syed Khurshid Shah. — File
Ishaq Dar and Syed Khurshid Shah. — File

ISLAMABAD: Following the Supreme Court's directive towards the government for a speedy appointment of a chairman for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Finance Minister Ishaq Dar today contacted Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khurshid Shah, via telephone.

Shah — who is currently in London and whose consent was mandatory for selecting a person for the post — and Dar exchanged views on the appointment of a chief for the accountability bureau, sources told DawnNews.

Consultations between the two political leaders on the matter are likely to resume within a day or two.

Sources said Shah is likely to return to Pakistan on September 17, whereas Dar has said that the government wanted to appoint a chairman for the bureau as soon as possible.

The contact between the two leaders came a day after the Supreme Court instructed the government to appoint a chairman of the NAB as early as possible or be ready for consequences.

The government had on Friday informed the court that the matter would be decided after Shah’s return from the UK.

“Appoint the chairman, otherwise be ready to face consequences in the light of a decision of a five-member bench,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had told Attorney General Munir A. Malik while hearing the NAB chairman appointment case.

The court took serious notice of the functioning of the country’s premium anti-corruption which remains paralysed because the office of its chairman has been vacant for over three months and, as a result, many important references have been shelved.

The last NAB chief, retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari, was removed by the Supreme Court on May 28 after his appointment was declared illegal.

NAB has been facing multiple problems due to the absence of chairman as it cannot file any fresh reference and cannot go for appeals which should be filed within days of a court order after duly signed by the chairman and the prosecutor general.