Ex-IB chief named new accountability czar

Minister says Aftab Sultan man of ‘impeccable integrity having an impressive past record'


Our Correspondent July 21, 2022
The newly appointed NAB chief Aftab Sultan. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The federal cabinet on Thursday approved the appointment of former director general of the Intelligence Bureau, Aftab Sultan, as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Sultan replaces Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, whose ‘controversial’ tenure ended on June 2.

During this period, Zahir Shah, the anti-graft body’s deputy chairman, served as its acting chief.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif via video link from Lahore, appointed the new chairman of the anti-graft body, hoping that Sultan would take a different route than his predecessor and restore NAB’s reputation.

“The federal cabinet has approved the nomination of Aftab Sultan as the chairman of NAB,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah tweeted after the meeting.

“He [Sultan] is a man of impeccable integrity having an impressive past record,” he added.

The interior minister further wrote that the government was hopeful that he would be able to steer the accountability drive without any partisanship.

The minister later told a press conference that Sultan’s credibility was beyond any doubt and the government was sure that he would keep a check on corruption in the country.

“The cabinet believes that Sultan would not follow the footsteps of the previous chairman, [Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal], whom we had often accused of political partisanship and victimisation of opposition politicians as noted by the Supreme Court itself in Khawaja Salman Rafique’s case,” the minister said.

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The cabinet was told that the appointment period of NAB chairman was three years, which cannot be extended.

The NAB chairman is appointed after consultation between the leader of the house and the leader of opposition in the National Assembly.

Sultan, a retired Police Service of Pakistan officer who has a reputation of being honest, earlier served as IGP Punjab and the commandant of the National Police Academy.

PML-N supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif had appointed Sultan as the head of the Intelligence Bureau in 2013 because of being an upright official.

He retired as the IB chief on April 3, 2018 after serving since June 7, 2013.

Sultan was the one who, being a senior police officer deployed in Sargodha during the Musharraf regime, had refused to help him in the 2002 referendum. In return, Sultan was demoted to the rank of an officer on special duty.

In addition, Sultan was also chosen by former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani of the PPP, making him the only officer who served with two different governments. Apart from Sharif and Gilani, Sultan has also served under former premiers Raja Pervez Ashraf and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sultan is a law graduate from Punjab University, who later did LLM from the University of Cambridge and also MSc in jurisprudence/legal studies from the University of Edinburgh.

(With input from agencies)

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