NAB Chief was not Govt employee at time of appointment; SC informed

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday was informed that Major (R) Chaudhry Qamar Zaman, Chairman National Accountability Bureau was not a government officer when he was appointed as NAB Chairman.

This was informed by Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly to a three-judge bench, chaired by Justice Nasir ul Mulk while hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Tehrik Insaaf (PTI) against the appointment of NAB’s chairman.

During the course of proceedings, Aitzaz Ahsan apprised the bench that the government and the opposition had agreed on the name of Zaman as the chairman of the anti-graft body – the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Hamid Khan, Counsel for PTI chief Imran Khan, maintained that the government did not consult with all opposition parties before appointing Zaman as NAB chief. Ahsan on reply said that there was no need to consult with Imran Khan as he was not a leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and according to the law Prime Minister was only bound to get consent of the opposition leader instead of all parties.

Hamid moved on and apprised the bench that Zaman was also a sitting bureaucrat at the time of his appointment and was made to resign before going on to take up the NAB chief’s job.

Aitzaa Ahsan said Zaman at the time of his appointment was not a government official as he left the government job before his nomination what was the requirement of the law,

He was appointed after following the due process of law so there was no vagueness that Zaman’s appointment was made under law, Aitzaz maintained.

While objecting the process of the appointment, Hamid said it was not fair that at a time PM sent advice to the President for the chairman’s NAB appointment and at the same time, he is a consulting with opposition leader. He questioned then how the process could be transparent. Later due to shortage of time, the bench adjourned further hearing of the case till April 18.