Shahzad Akbar resigns as PM's adviser on accountability and interior

Published January 24, 2022
This file photo shows Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar. — APP/File
This file photo shows Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar. — APP/File

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar announced on Monday that he had resigned from his post, but said that he would still remain associated with the PTI.

Taking to Twitter, Akbar said that he had tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"I sincerely hope the process of accountability continues under the leadership of PM Imran as per the PTI’s manifesto. I will remain associated with the party and keep contributing as a member of the legal fraternity," he said.

Akbar — a former deputy prosecutor for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) — was appointed as the special assistant to the prime minister on accountability and interior in August 2018.

In July 2020, Akbar was appointed as an adviser to the prime minister with the same portfolio.

He is 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".

Akbar, who played a key role in the Panama Papers leak-related money laundering cases in which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was convicted, had been tasked with bringing the PML-N supremo back to Pakistan and pursuing the various corruption cases against opposition leaders.

He was also the chairman of the Asset Recovery Unit that was formed in 2018 to suggest ways and legal means to bring back looted money stashed abroad as well as probe properties owned by Pakistanis in foreign countries.

'More important work awaiting Akbar'

Reacting to the development, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that Akbar worked under "tremendous pressure".

"It was never easy to take on mafias but the way you worked and handled cases is admirable. More important work is now awaiting you," he said.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad later in the day, the minister said "administrative" matters relating to the PTI's accountability drive had ended as cases were being deliberated in the courts and the resignation would have no impact in this regard.

He said that Akbar had done a "fantastic" job and exposed the opposition during a very tough time. He added that Akbar would continue to serve as a member of the PTI's core committee.

Meanwhile, PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair lashed out at Akbar, saying: "After messing up and wasting national resources, here comes the resignation.

"We always knew he will fail. Jumping the ship at the right moment, Shahzad Akbar has proven to be a smart person. There were no open and shut cases — that was all made up so that Imran Khan could get in power," he claimed.

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