Senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders met on Monday to discuss the appointment of retired Justice Javed Iqbal as the new National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, a statement from the party’s central media department said.
During the meeting, the party leadership raised questions over the former justice’s qualifications, saying that the “objective” behind Justice Iqbal’s appointment “was unclear”, the statement said.
The meeting, chaired by PTI chairman Imran Khan, was attended by senior party leaders including Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, General Secretary Jahangir Tareen, Shireen Mazari, Shafqat Mehmood, Arif Ali, Asad Umar, Azam Swati, Fawad Chaudhry, and others.
The party’s legal team also attended the meeting.
The party leadership was briefed over the recent appointment by PTI’s technical committee. During the meeting, the leaders complained that neither were the party’s recommendations for the post taken into consideration, nor was the party consulted over Iqbal’s appointment. However, before the announcement was made on Sunday, Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah had claimed that a consensus had been reached to appoint Iqbal as NAB chairman.
Justice Iqbal’s appointment as NAB chairman was announced by the Ministry of Law and Justice in a notification issued on Sunday. He will take charge after the four-year term of incumbent NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry ends on October 10. Iqbal served as a Supreme Court (SC) judge till 2011.
The PTI leadership said that the “performance” of the new NAB chairman “will determine whether his appointment is justified or not.” It is yet to be seen whether he follows his predecessor or “chooses a new path for himself”, the statement said, alluding to accusations that Chaudhry had shielded Nawaz Sharif’s family from prosecution on corruption cases.
“Corruption is the biggest plague of Pakistan and its elimination is inevitable. The new chairman must actively pursue the cases referred by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers verdict, especially the Hudaibiya Mills reference,” the statement added, adding that those who are proven to be involved in corruption must be sent behind bars.