Lawyer and legal adviser Mirza Shahzad Akbar has been appointed as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, a notification from the Cabinet Secretariat announced on Monday.

Mirza Shahzad Akbar. ─ Photo via Twitter
Mirza Shahzad Akbar. ─ Photo via Twitter

Akbar is a former deputy prosecutor for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He is also the founder, legal director and a trustee of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, an organisation that works "towards the advancement, protection and enforcement of fundamental human rights".

This is reportedly the first time a prime minister has appointed a special assistant on accountability. Akbar's appointment is in line with the new government's promise to strengthen the check and balance system in the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken at length about his ambition to root out corruption by strict accountability laws.

In his first speech as premier in the National Assembly, he had said: "We have to have strict accountability in this country; the people who looted this country, I promise that I will work against them."

In his maiden address to the nation, broadcast last night, Khan again stressed that rooting out corruption will be a high priority of his government. He promised to strengthen institutions such as NAB to ensure that action is taken against people who are involved in financial corruption.

"I will meet the NAB chairman and facilitate him with whatever he needs," he said. "The SECP and the FIA will be fixed on a priority basis."

Later in the day, a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat announced the appointment of PTI leaders Naeemul Haque and Iftikhar Durrani as the 'Special Assistant to the Prime Minister' on political affairs and media, respectively.

With Durrani's appointment, the premier's cabinet has gone up to 24 members.