A retired Lahore High Court judge, Syed Asghar Haider, was officially appointed as prosecutor general (PG) of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

A senior official had told Dawn that Haider's appointment was finalised on Tuesday but that an official notification in this regard would be released a day later.

Haider was among five nominees recommended for the position of the body's prosecutor general by NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal, the Law Ministry as well as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The other nominees included Shah Khawar, Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Fasihul Mulk and Mudassar Khalid Abbasi,

In a surprising turn of events, President Mamnoon Hussain had on Monday rejected the quintet, instead nominating three other people for the post.

The president's rejection of the PM's recommendations had baffled even the Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarking: "How can the president reject the names recommended by the prime minister?"

However, soon after the SC set a two-day deadline for the appointment during Wednesday's final hearing on its suo moto notice, Haider was approved by the president as the new NAB PG.

The prosecutor general's position had been vacant since November 23, 2017 when former PG Waqar Qadeer left office after completing his three-year tenure.

With additional reporting by Haseeb Bhatti.

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