Saturday September 24, 2022

Will NAB chairman resign or seek a new term?

Javed Iqbal has already completed his term but is continuing till the appointment of a new chairman

April 12, 2022
NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal. -APP/File
NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal. -APP/File 

ISLAMABAD: Will NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal resign or seek another term in office from the new government?

Javed Iqbal, whose tenure has been marred by the worst kind of political victimisation and flawed accountability, has already completed his term but is continuing till the appointment of a new chairman.

Although NAB under Iqbal booked several political opponents of the previous government besides innumerable bureaucrats and even businessmen, yet the Imran Khan government did not appoint him for another term as chairman because of NAB’s poor performance and serious capacity issues.

Interestingly, Javed Iqbal was appointed during the last PMLN government with the help of an influential ‘uncle’ of Suleman Shehbaz and Bilawal Bhutto. The influential uncle had approached Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari to get Javed Iqbal appointed as NAB chairman.

Later, through a common friend, the then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also approached for the appointment of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

The common friend had even offered that the retired justice would be ready to submit to the then premier his signed resignation letter even before his appointment to assure that he was trustworthy.

However, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had responded to the common friend that he did not require a resignation letter and decided in favour of Javed Iqbal’s appointment. It is, however, not confirmed whether the common friend was pushing for Javed Iqbal’s appointment on his own or was asked by the retired judge to do so.

Interestingly, the then opposition leader Khursheed Shah was personally not in favour of appointing the retired Supreme Court judge as head of the state’s top anti-corruption body but he had no choice because of Asif Ali Zardari’s vote for Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal.

Mian Nawaz Sharif had also spoken to Shahid Abbasi, the then prime minister, and politely recommended Javed Iqbal’s name by telling the premier “to consider” the retired judge. Among those who were lobbying for Iqbal’s appointment as Chairman NAB included a tycoon -- the ‘uncle’ of Bilawal and Suleman.

Later, NAB under Javed Iqbal arrested all those who were involved in his appointment, including Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Syed Khursheed Shah. The influential uncle, however, was lucky to remain untouched by NAB.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who spent months in jail because of a case made against him by NAB, had once apologised to the nation for appointing Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal as NAB chairman. He had said that the name of the NAB chairman had come from the Pakistan Peoples Party and his appointment was made with consensus.

NAB under Javed Iqbal has also been reprimanded repeatedly by the high courts and the Supreme Court for misusing its authority and arresting innocents without solid cases. Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa in a case said that there was a growing perception that the accountability process being pursued in the country was lopsided and part of political engineering. The NAB chairman, however, has been insisting that the Bureau does not believe in political victimisation and is carrying out across-the-board accountability.


    Hassan commented 5 months ago

    (The influential uncle, however, was lucky to remain untouched by NAB.) Can anybody give the name of this UNCLE...

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