PM Imran Khan approves ordinance to extend NAB chairman’s tenure: sources

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to give an extension to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal and a draft ordinance has been prepared by the legal minds of the government, Geo News reported Tuesday, citing sources.

The sources said Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the presidential ordinance and it is expected to be promulgated today.

A meeting was chaired to discuss the ordinance which was drafted in consultation with federal ministers.

Law Minister Dr Farogh Nasim, Adviser to the PM on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan and Adviser on Interior and Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar suggested changes in the law.

According to sources privy to the matter, more than one amendment have been proposed.

The draft has been prepared keeping in view the legal implications linked to the extension in the NAB chairman’s tenure, which is set to expire this month.

The tenure of a NAB chairman cannot be extended under section 6(b) of the NAB Ordinance 1999.

Meanwhile, NAB Deputy Chairman Hussain Asghar has reportedly resigned from his post.

Earlier, Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem had rejected media reports and clarified that his ministry had not drafted an ordinance to extend the tenure of Justice (retd) Iqbal as the NAB chief.

He had said that it was the prime minister’s prerogative to pick a person for the post of the head of the anti-corruption watchdog and that he could only give his advice on the issue. Naseem had said the prime minister will consider more than one name for the post and “will pick whomever he deems fit for the slot.”

Moreover, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had said that the government will not be consulting Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif over the appointment of NAB’s next chairman.

He had termed consulting with Shahbaz over the matter akin to asking a suspect who their interrogating officer should be.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties have already announced that they will challenge the government’s move in the Supreme Court.