ISLAMABAD: In a new twist to the long overdue appointment of Chairman National Accountability Bureau, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has returned the summary recommending the name of Justice (Retd) Sardar Raza Khan to law ministry for the slot, to also include the name of Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal in the list of candidates.
Sources in the Federal Law Ministry and Prime Minister Secretariat informed TheNation that in the backdrop of the tacit approval of Leader of Opposition Ch Nisar Ali Khan to the name of Justice (Retd) Sardar Raza Khan for the slot of Chairman NAB, the Ministry of Law and Justice had forwarded his name to Prime Minister Gilani for initiation of process for the appointment of Chairman NAB for which the ‘meaningful consultation’ with the Leader of Opposition is mandatory.
But the Prime Minister Gilani has returned the summary back to the Ministry of Law and Justice to put the name of recently retired senior most judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan Justice Javed Iqbal in the list.The sources in the government informed that government wanted to get Justice (Retd) Javid Iqbal installed as Chairman National Accountability Bureau while the people close to Leader of Opposition Ch. Nisar Ali Khan were of the view that they would not give approval to his name and would prefer to have someone else with more acceptability in the concerned quarters.
It is pertinent to mention here that after the removal of Naveed Ahsan as Chairman NAB in the light of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s direction the PPP leaders including Mian Raza Rabbani and Syed Khurshid Shah went to the Leader of Opposition to seek his approval to the name of Justice (Retd) Mukhtar Junajo for the slot which was rejected by Ch Nisar on the plea that Justice (Retd) Mukhtar Junajo was too old and at the same time having the PPP background.
During his meeting with PPP leaders in his chamber Ch Nisar has given a passing remarks that his party would not object if the government would come up with some neutral person like Justice (Retd) Raza Khan for the important slot of Chairman NAB.Later the then federal law minister Dr. Babar Awan had approached Justice (Retd) Raza Khan and sought his consent on his nomination as Chairman NAB which the latter had given but at the eleventh hour his name was dropped and the name of Justice (Retd) Deedar Hussain Shah was sent to Leader of Opposition on the direction of the Presidency.
On the same plea Ch Nisar rejected the name of Justice (Retd) Deedar Hussain Shah as he had been elected MPA twice on the PPP ticket. But paying little heed to his rejection the government had notified him as Chairman NAB, which was challenged in the apex court by Leader of Opposition and subsequently his appointment was declared void ab initio.
But in the decision handed down by the apex court in this case Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had carved out his role in the appointment of Chairman NAB in case of deadlock on some name for the slot between the Leader of the House and Leader of Opposition.
Now in case of deadlock between Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition on some name Chief Justice of Pakistan would intervene and help resolve the matter.In the given situation the government would have to move with extra care as in case the Leader of Opposition would once again reject the name then Chief Justice of Pakistan would have to intervene in the matter and obviously the apex court CJ would go for merit and government would be on the losing side. – Nation