Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday formally informed National Assembly opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah that Justice (retd) Bhagwandas did not fulfill the mandatory criteria for holding the post of Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), since the former judge had recently retired as Chairman Federal Public Service Commission.
Shah is expected to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this week to discuss the appointment of Chairman NAB. The two leaders would particularly discuss bringing an amendment in the law to pave way for appointing Bhagwandas as Chairman NAB.
Khursheed Shah had earlier forwarded two names to the Prime Minister: Mohammad Raza Khan and Justice (retd) Bhagwandas, but the government has raised objection to the latter.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Shah confirmed that he had a detailed discussion with Dar over the issue on Tuesday. The PPP leader said that he suggested that the clause obstructing Bhagwandas’ appointment be removed so that a credible person is appointed as Chairman NAB, in the larger national interest. In principle, Shah said, Dar agreed with my argument but the final decision lies with the Prime Minister.
“If the Prime Minister also agrees with me, then we will amend the clause through an ordinance, which will be rectified within 90 days in the Parliament”. He added that there is no harm in removing a clause for the country’s good.
Dar asked Shah to hold a meeting with the PM to discuss the issue and finalize a suitable candidate for the post, which is lying vacant since the Supreme Court sent the former Chairman NAB Fasih Bokhari home on grounds that the PPP government did not consult the opposition leader while appointing him as NAB chairman, which is constitutionally mandatory.
Dar made it clear that the government did not have any question over the credibility and professional reputation of Justice Bhagwandas, only that some legal complications were creating hurdles in considering the retired Supreme Court judge for the position.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ