Friday September 24, 2021

For PTI govt, NAB chairman has performed well

September 15, 2021
For PTI govt, NAB chairman has performed well

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has been advised by some of his aides to consider amending the NAB law to give four-year second term to the incumbent NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal for “performing well”.

Sources said the premier has also been told that in case a new chairman is appointed, it would not be sure how Iqbal's successor would behave. The PTI government has seemingly developed a sort of understanding with the incumbent chairman amid reports of behind the scene contacts between the two sides. The prime minister, however, has not yet decided what he would do let Javed Iqbal retire and bring in someone else to head the bureau or give the incumbent an extension for another term by amending the law.

Although the prime minister and several members of the cabinet are upset with the NAB’s dealing with members of bureaucracy and businessmen, the PTI government is happy how the bureau has handled the opposition including Sharifs, Zardari and others.

According to a cabinet source, it is not sure at this stage what would the prime minister decide but he insisted that Javed Iqbal's performance has been good. He added that the government does not know how the new chairman will perform. Without being sure about the conduct of a new face as NAB chief, the government is also not certain if its choice person could be appointed because the appointment of NAB chairman is made by the prime minister in consultation with the leader of the opposition.

It is said that in case the prime minister gives Javed Iqbal another term, the government will prefer to amend the law through the parliament. The PTI lacks majority in the Senate owing to which, it is said, the government could opt for extending the NAB chairman’s tenure through a joint sitting of the parliament.

Justice (R) Javed Iqbal is completing his ‘unextendible’ four-year term in the second week of October with no sign of the initiation of a process of consultation between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition to pick his successor. There is still no official word from the government on whether it intends to continue with Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal or wants a new NAB chief.

Justice Javed Iqbal was appointed NAB chairman in October 2017, following a consensus between the then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah.