ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah agreed with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday to go ahead with the process of appointment of new National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman even if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – two larger opposition parties after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – did not give their input.
Shah met Abbasi on Tuesday for another round of consultation to finalise the names for the slot of chairman NAB. “I have contacted PTI three times and MQM multiple times, they have not responded yet,” a statement issued by the office of the opposition leader said.
“Appointment has to be made within next few days. The process cannot be halted if they don’t respond,” added the statement, issued after the Abbasi-Shah meeting.
The incumbent NAB Chairman Chaudhry Qamar Zaman is retiring on October 10 at the end of a four-year term. As per law, the prime minster is required to consult with the opposition for appointing the new anti-corruption czar.
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The PTI and the MQM are contemplating to replace Shah with their own nominee as the opposition leader. One of the reasons, they have been citing for the change, is to have a say in the appointment of the new NAB chief.
Shah has expressed the hope that the name of the new NAB chairman would be finalised by October 8. However, neither the government, nor the opposition had disclosed their nominees for the post.
According to the law, amended in 2016, once the prime minister and the opposition leader conclude their consultation, the PM would forward three names to a 12-member parliamentary committee with equal representation from treasury and opposition benches to be constituted by the National Assembly speaker, for endorsement.