ISLAMABAD: The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Khursheed Shah, met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday to discuss the matter of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman’s selection.
In the meeting, which lasted over an hour, Shah said he placed names given by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in front of the prime minister.
Shah said he hopes there will be consensus on the new NAB chairman’s name.
The PTI, which has often criticised the ‘arrangement’ between Shah, who hails from the largest opposition party — Pakistan Peoples Party — and the government, has forwarded the names of former Sindh inspector general and head of the Intelligence Bureau Shoaib Suddle, former chief secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Arbab Shahzad and former Supreme Court Justice Falak Sher.
Meanwhile, the MQM has proposed the names of former Justice Mahmood Rizvi, Justice Mohammad Ghaus and former Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary Kanwar Dilshad.
Also on Friday, PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi held a meeting with Jamaat-e-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq in Lahore. The two opposition parties discussed the matter of the NAB chairman’s appointment, among other issues, according to sources.
The present NAB chief, Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, is retiring on October 10 after serving a term of four years.
For his replacement, the government has proposed the names of Justice (retd) Rehmat Jafry, Justice (retd) Chaudhry Aijaz and Director General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan.
The names suggested by the PPP are Justice (retd) Faqer Mohammad Khokhar, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal and former ECP secretary Ishtiaque Ahmed Khan.
The appointment of the NAB chairman, carried out after consultation between the prime minister and opposition leader, has gained more importance recently owing to the ongoing corruption cases against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
NAB has filed three corruption references against Sharif and his family, and one against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in an accountability court.
The action has been taken in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case, which also led to Sharif’s disqualification.