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ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­is­­ter Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khur­sheed Shah on Wednes­day to discuss with him appointment of new chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

It was the first direct contact between the two leaders on the issue as the term of incumbent NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry is ending in November.

According to sources in the PPP, the meeting took place at the official residence of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. Mr Abbasi had agreed on the venue of the meeting when the opposition leader refused to visit PM House for the meeting.

An official announcement from the PM Office said the two leaders agreed to proceed with the process of appointment of new NAB chairman strictly in accordance to legal provisions.

Under the National Account­ability Ordinance, appointment of NAB chairman is made by the prime minister in consultation with the leader of opposition.

The appointment has become all the more important as the new chairman will deal with cases of the Sharif family being reopened by NAB on the orders of the Supreme Court.

The incumbent NAB chairman was appointed with the consent of both the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Mr Shah. But Mr Chaudhry became controversial from the very first day as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf rejected his appointment and alleged that Mr Chaudhry would not be impartial while dealing with the cases of the Sharif and Zardari families.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2017