Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has reiterated that the government will not consult the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif for the appointment of a new head of the National Accountability Bureau.
Talking to the media in Jhelum on Saturday, the federal minister ruled out consultation with Sharif on the grounds that Sharif himself was an accused in corruption references filed against him by NAB.
He said consulting the opposition leader regarding the appointment of a new head of anti-graft watchdog would be tantamount to letting a thief choose an interrogator.
Commenting on the Election Commission of Pakistan, Fawad, in a rather mellowed tone after weeks of acrimonious back-and-forth, maintained that strained relations between the PTI-led government and the body were being “resolved”, adding that he held no personal grudge against it.
The statement about the issue of NAB chief’s appointment comes ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s crucial meeting over the matter scheduled to be held next week to deliberate whether to appoint a new anti-graft body chief or extend the tenure of the incumbent one.
Since the existing laws do not allow the government for extension or reappointment of NAB head, the ruling party is reportedly seeking amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 either through a presidential ordinance or an amendment bill in a joint parliamentary session.
Earlier, sources told The Express Tribune that the attorney general for Pakistan’s (AGP) office has sent a draft of various amendments to the NAO to PM’s Office. However, details on these amendments are yet to be disclosed.
Meanwhile, slamming the PML-N supremo, the information minister said that both Nawaz Sharif and the ousted Afghan ruler Ashraf Ghani were living the life of absconders - with one in London and the other in Dubai.
"Both of them fled abroad with bags of US dollars", Fawad said. He recalled that when Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested, the former prime minister avoided commenting on it.
"You can guess how shameless people have been rulers in Pakistan who did not look beyond their own feet except for accumulating money and inviting Narendra Modi to weddings." “PTI was the only political party representing the federation across the country and Imran Khan's vote bank found everywhere.”
The minister claimed that the PTI would also succeed in forming the next government with a two-thirds majority “as both PML-N and PPP were divided”.
Read more Fawad, Swati seek time to reply to ECP
Regarding the recent tour cancellations by England and New Zealand's cricket boards, Fawad lauded the government’s response to the developments. He said that previous governments used to only make contacts with leaders and in contrast, PM Khan talked to the public internationally as well.
"When we brought out the facts regarding the cancellation of New Zealand's tour of Pakistan, the English cricket team and the English Cricket Board came under pressure."
He said reports have been making rounds that even the UK prime minister has expressed his anger over the cancellation. “So I think this is a success of public diplomacy that we presented all these things before the people.”
Appreciating the PM’s virtual address to UN General Assembly, the minister said that the premier had convinced the world how the “fascist government of India, based on hardliner RSS ideology, was committing genocide of minorities in India”.
He said that the PM had extensively dilated upon important matters such as the Kashmir dispute, Afghan situation, global wealth inequality and environmental crisis.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ