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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Govt appoints Lt Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmad as NAB chairman

The post fell vacant after Aftab Sultan tendered his resignation on February 15

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
March 04, 2023
Lieutenant General (retd) Nazir Ahmad. — National Defence University
Lieutenant General (retd) Nazir Ahmad. — National Defence University 

ISLAMABAD: The federal government Saturday appointed Lieutenant General (retd) Nazir Ahmad as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) days after the post became vacant.

“In terms of Section 6 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (XVIII of 1999), as amended from time to time, consultation between the Leader of the House being the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly has been made and there is a consensus on the name of Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nazir Ahmad, for his appointment by the Federal Government as Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” the notification released by Prime Minister’s Office read.

It should be noted that the post of the NAB chairman fell vacant on February 15 after Aftab Sultan tendered his resignation — which was then accepted by the prime minister on February 23.

Ahmad — a retired officer of the Armed Forces of Pakistan —  has been appointed as per the procedure provided in Section 6(b)(i) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999; which states;

b) Chairman, National Accountability Bureau,

  • “i) There shall be a Chairman, National Accountability Bureau to be appointed by the Federal Government after consultation between the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly:”

Also, under Section 6(b)(v),

  • “v) The Chairman shall on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Federal Government, hold office for a non-extendable term of three years and shall not be eligible for subsequent appointment as Chairman and shall not be removed from office except on the grounds and in the manner as provided in the Article 209 of the Constitution:”

Aftab Sultan’s resignation

Earlier — in a move welcomed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — Sultan had tendered his resignation as NAB chairman, after reportedly refusing to "toe the line".

In the absence of a chairman, Zahir Shah, NAB deputy chairman was looking after the anti-corruption agency.

He had been appointed as head of the anti-graft body on July 21, 2022, for three years by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government after Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal’s tenure ended last year.

Sultan, according to a statement from the PM's Office, presented his resignation to PM Shehbaz citing personal reasons. At the time of his resignation, Sultan said: “I was asked to do certain things which were not acceptable to me.

Sources revealed that Sultan had refused to make arrests of politicians on someone's orders.

“He was pressurised by the government and some other institutions in the last four months to register cases against the people of their choice and arrest them,” they further said.

Sultan, according to the source, had also withdrawn the arrest powers from NAB director-generals (DGs) to avoid misuse of authority by the officials.