LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif strongly opposed President Asif Ali Zardari’s decision of bringing in Justice Deedar Hussain Shah as National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman. Shahbaz said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will take out a ‘long march’ if the decision is not retracted.
The PML-N had earlier rejected the appointment in a formal statement, and opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had called Deedar a partisan person and contradicted a claim by the government that the decision was based on consultation with him.
MNA Ahsan Iqbal, the spokesman for the PML-N had said, “By appointing its own handpicked man as NAB chairman and ignoring reservations of the opposition, the Zardari regime has clearly shown its unwillingness to bring transparency and trust in the accountability process.”
Awan welcomes long march
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Federal Law Minister Babar Awan said the PPP would welcome the long march and urged the Punjab government to end playing politics of turncoats.
He said the President and the Prime Minister respect the Charter of Democracy, and according to the agreement, both the PML-N and PPP should respect one other. He added that the word ‘consultation’ does not mean accepting an order.
Awan also said that the opposition has the freedom to oppose the government’s policies in a parliamentary form of government.
Earlier, responding to criticism on the appointment of the new chairman Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had said that the president had discretionary powers of appointment and the chief justice of Pakistan did not need to be consulted.
The petition was filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffery contending that the appointment of the new chairman NAB was unlawful.