NAB chairman appointment: ‘We like Bokhari, but we’ll sue anyway... or maybe not’

Published: October 18, 2011
Nisar says the appointment of NAB chief cannot be done without meaningful consultation with the opposition leader.

Nisar says the appointment of NAB chief cannot be done without meaningful consultation with the opposition leader.

ISLAMABAD: Even though the party has decided to formally challenge the appointment of the new National Accountability Bureau chairman in court, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz did not broach the subject at all during Monday’s session at the National Assembly.

The silence over the appointment of Fasih Bokhari, a retired admiral and the former naval chief, as the head of the top government watchdog was rather surprising given the PML-N’s decision to challenge the president’s decision in court.

“We have decided to file a petition and challenge the appointment,” PML-N’s spokesperson Senator Mushahidullah Khan told The Express Tribune. “President Zardari has not given a satisfactory reply to the letter written by the leader of the opposition.”

Senator Khan, however, provided no time-frame for filing the petition at the Supreme Court and seemed unaware of what legal grounds the PML-N would be challenging Bokhari’s appointment on.

The senator’s statements stood in sharp contrast to National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, also of the PML-N, who had raised some technical objections over the manner in which President Asif Ali Zardari had appointed the new NAB chairman, but did not criticise the choice of Bokhari for the job.

According to the 18th Amendment to the constitution, the NAB chairman cannot be appointed without the consent of the opposition leader in the National Assembly. President Zardari wrote a letter to Chaudhry Nisar on October 9, seeking his consent on the appointment.

The PML-N is of the view that the letter was inadequate consultation.

The PML-N had also challenged the appointment of the previous NAB chairman, Deedar Hussain Shah, a retired judge of the Sindh High Court. The Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the PML-N’s challenge and Shah was asked to leave office.

Bokhari assumed charge of NAB, which had been going through organisational atrophy and administrative paralysis owing to the lack of a chairman.

NAB is a highly centralised organisation that requires its chairman’s approval for virtually every major decision, including which cases to prosecute, how much resources to put into which investigation, etc.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Butt
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Please stop the dramas you both PPP and PML-N.
    And PML-N, stop deceiving us by acting as an opposition, you have got 60% Pakistan under your control in the form of Punjab Govt. Do some development work there and serve peopleRecommend

  • fawad
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:22AM

    Zardari and company making the country a laughingstock


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:47AM

    The role of political parties in opposition is limited to challenging government’s actions whatever it would take, instead of having a constructive opposition.

    Three and half years have been passed and one and half year is left.

    By the time the general elections will be held in the country, the opposition leaders instead of serving a common man of the country would keep on challenging the government’s actions in various courts of Pakistan.


  • starboy
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:51AM

    Fasih bukhari is an honest. There is no corruption charges against him. When Nawaz Sharif was prime minister he appointed Fasih Bukhari as chief of Navy Staff in 1998. Just a few days after his appointment as NAB Chairman PML(N) spokesperson Mushahid Ullah Khan put corruption allegation against fasih bukhari. Then Nawaz Shareef ring fasih bukhari & apologised to him for mushahid ullah allegations. If PML(N) thinks he is corrupt, Then why Nawaz Shareef appointed him as chief of Navy staff in 1998.


  • Hina khokhar
    Oct 18, 2011 - 1:35AM

    PML-N=Naraaz league!


  • tasawar malik
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:02AM

    They are shivering because of IK


  • Niaz Hussain Shah
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:11AM

    The appointment of Fasih Bukhari as Chairman NAB is neither illegal, nor is it contempt of Supreme Court. Opposition leader Mr. Nisar Chaudhary Ali Khan has a habit of opposing every decision taken by government. If the Govt. nominates an angel Ch. Nisar will start opposing him.
    As an opposition leader he has a right to oppose treasury benches but he has to draw a fine line between right and wrong.


  • anybodyagree
    Oct 18, 2011 - 5:23AM

    Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan the AMERICAN CITIZEN opposes EVERY THING . . .!!!


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Oct 18, 2011 - 5:33AM

    No one except supreme court judge should be appointed NAB Chairman.. When a government official or politician is appointed for this important post, question of conflict of interest may arise. Ehtisab Bureau headed by a politican and NAB headed by a general are examples of this problem.


  • Mirza
    Oct 18, 2011 - 7:21AM

    PML-N is behaving just like Republican Party here in the US. They would not let the fed govt govern no matter what. Like the Republican Party who is simply opposed to Obama rule, our PML-N would not let the elected govt function at all. They know full well that the LHC and SC are in their pocket and each and every nomination is challenged.
    Nawaz Sharif is ruling without much interference and autonomy in more than 60% of Pakistan but would not let the others function. The courts should not accept each and every petition for hearing. It is the fed govt constitutional right to make all executive appointments like any other democratic country. However, with the help of courts PML-N is wielding a veto power as if they are the supreme and not the parliament and constitution.


  • Azfar
    Oct 18, 2011 - 7:23AM

    hahahah @ American Citizen , you have to be citizen of somewhere, if you Not an army citizen of Pakistan.


  • Mirza
    Oct 18, 2011 - 8:52AM

    @Ch Allah Daad: Justice Deedar of Sind was the first appointment that was rejected by PML-N with the help of SC CJ. The fed govt should appoint retired Chief Justice Sharif of LHC for PML-N to be acceptable. He would be acceptable to our SC Recommend

  • starboy
    Oct 18, 2011 - 9:57AM

    Its on the record, Nawaz Shareef awarded fasih bukhari “sitara jurat” in 1998 when nawaz shareef was prime minister. fasih bukhari gave statements in favour of nawaz shareef & against musharaf during kargil war.Fasih bukhari was an honest man that time when he was supporting nawaz shareef but now they r opposing him as NAB chairman. Recommend

  • anybodyagree
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:52PM


    “with the help of courts PML-N is wielding a veto power as if they are the supreme and not the parliament and constitution.”

    SO ITS A ONE WAY JUSTICE . . .!!!Recommend

  • Realist.
    Oct 18, 2011 - 2:07PM

    The Matter here is constitutional!
    President has not fulfilled the constitutional requirements of Appointing Chairman NAB.


  • Ishrat Salim
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:07PM

    Here I wud agree with Mr Realist….& adding that there is a SC ruling made during the hearing of Mr Deedar`s case that any appointment must be reffered to CJ also…which in this case was also not followed….So, I wud request all those commentators to read the SC ruling & the relevant clause in the constitution…..

    Additionally, it has been revealed by Dr Mazari ( commenting on Mr Fasih`s appointment as NAB Chairman )…that it was during one of the last meeting of Strategic Studies that Mr Fasih had spoken against the creation of Pakistan…??…is this not treason….??Recommend

  • Saleem
    Oct 18, 2011 - 5:18PM

    Doesn’t this man name keep popping up in Agosta Submarine scandal? Shouldn’t he try to clear his name first before taking over charge of National Accountability Bureau (NAB)?

    Why PPP government keeps coming up with controversial names? Why a retired Supreme Court judge can’t be chosen for this post?Recommend

  • Mirza
    Oct 18, 2011 - 8:48PM

    @Ishrat Salim:
    If speaking against the creation of Pakistan is treason then JI, and JUI must be treators and outlawed. They all opposed creation of Pakistan and called Quaid Azam as Kafir Azam. Rightwing has selective memoryand selective justice!Recommend

  • LOK
    Oct 19, 2011 - 12:29AM

    Every PML-N leader need 3 seats each. 1 for him, 1 for his ego and third one for his takeaway food that he keeps eating all day and hence can’t think straight, ever.


  • Falcon
    Oct 19, 2011 - 6:45AM

    Lolz…that’s the funniest thing I have heard in a long time…so true!


  • Sarfraz Hussain
    Oct 19, 2011 - 6:55PM

    It is astonishing, and frustrating in the extreme, that despite the acceptability of the candidate to both parties, PML-N has out of their way to make Admiral Bokhari’s appointment an issue. PML-N has not shown any element of statesmanship or grace regarding this issue. At a time when the country is faced with innumerable problems that need their urgent attention, it would have behoved the PML-N to have shown more maturity than squabbling over this issue. The common man of Punjab is looking towards Punjab Government for delivery from misery in every aspect of life, is once again reduced to baffled spectatorship of petty power politics instead. Given such diminutiveness and pettiness of politics on display time and again, especially at the expense of much needed governance, is it surprising that the public becomes disgusted and welcomes military dictators? Mian Nawaz Sharif even though faced the same when his Government was over thrown but he did not learn lesson.


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