Zardari approves NAB chief’s removal

President Asif Ali Zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari terminated on Tuesday the appointment of former chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) retired Admiral Fasih Bokhari who had been removed from his office by the Supreme Court on May 28.

The move may affect Mr Bokhari’s stance in the court that his removal was unjust.

He had been appointed as NAB chairman by the president in October 2011.

“The president, on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has approved termination of the appointment of Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari, as Chairman, NAB, with effect from the date of judgment of Supreme Court in constitution petition No.73 of 2011,” president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

He said a summary of the ministry of law and justice had suggested that the Supreme Court in its judgment on May 28 had declared the appointment of Admiral Bokhari as illegal.

It said the National Accountability Bureau chairman had filed a review petition against the order but the operation of the order had not been suspended.

The spokesman said that in the light of the apex court’s decision the law ministry proposed to the prime minister to advise the president to terminate Mr Bokhari’s appointment from the date the judgment had been issued.

Meanwhile, the government has started the process for appointment of a new NAB chairman and suggested two names for the post. The Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah, also has proposed two names.

The government has nominated retired Justice Rehmat Hussain Jaffery and former federal secretary Khawaja Zaheer Ahmed and the opposition has proposed the names of retired Justice Rana Bhagwandas and retired Justice Sardar Raza.

Mr Bokhari filed his application in the Supreme Court on Monday, requesting it to halt the process of appointment of chairman till his review petition was decided.

Otherwise, he said the whole process could become infructuous.

The bureau has been almost non-functional since Mr Bokhari’s removal on a petition filed by former leader of the opposition and now Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who said that no ‘meaningful’ consultation had taken place between him and the then PPP government on the appointment.

According to the NAB Ordinance, the chairman is appointed by the president after the prime minister and the leader of opposition reach consensus on a name after ‘meaningful’ consultations.

Two National Accountability Bureau chairmen appointed by the PPP government, retired Justice Deedar Hussain Shah and Mr Bokhari, were removed by the court on petitions filed by Chaudhry Nisar.

Source: DAWN

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