No consultation will take place with Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif, ministers

No consultation will take place with Opposition Leader in NA so long as Shahbaz Sharif occupies the post, reiterate ministers

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

Minister for Law and Justice Senator Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday reiterated the government’s stance that no consultation will take place with the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly so long as PML-N President Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif occupies the post.

Addressing a press conference at the Press Information Department (PID), Fawad Chaudhry said: “If Shahbaz Sharif had a degree of shame he would resign as Opposition leader himself.”

Farogh Naseem, while addressing the briefing earlier, said that the impression that there is a difference in his stance and that of the information minister, is false. “The president is the one who will appoint the NAB chairman,” he explained, adding that this will be done after consultation with both, leaders of the House, and the Opposition.

Naseem said that the prime minister, therefore, will not be holding any consultations with the Opposition leader, and the president, instead, will be facilitating the discussion.

The law minister said that after consultation, a name may be agreed upon for the appointment of the NAB chairman. “If the consultations fail, a parliamentary committee will be formed, similar to how one was formed for the appointment of the vacant posts at the Election Commission of Pakistan,” he said.

Naseem said that the committee will be formed by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser.

“Until the new chairman is appointed, the old one will continue,” he added, saying that he will continue to have all the powers and authority that come with his post.

The law minister went on to state that the ordinance for the NAB chairman’s appointment will no longer contain the term “non-extendable”, “so that a greater pool of candidates is available for selection”.

Naseem said no decision has been made yet over whether retired Justice Javed Iqbal will be “permanently appointed” but the government, including the cabinet and the prime minister, believe that a wider selection must be made available.

He said that the existing NAB chairman’s performance “when you compare with the past chairmen, is before you”. One can see how many recoveries NAB has made with him at the helm, he said.

The law minister said that therefore, the existing NAB chairman, as well as all others who held the post before him, will be considered for the latest tenure.

Naseem said that the Opposition did a great deal of politicking over the NAB chairman’s appointment and unfortunately showed great stubborness, bringing forth 34 of their own amendments for the NAB law.

The law minister also spoke of district judges or retired judges now being appointed as judges of accountability courts. The appointments will be made in accordance with the recommendations of the relevant high court’s chief justice.

Farogh Nasim said that the Supreme Judicial Council will be the forum to remove NAB chief in case of any misconduct. The Law Minister said that role of NAB Prosecutor General is being enhanced in the new ordinance to take independent opinion on a case to ensure fairness. He said the Prosecutor General will advise the NAB Chairman to continue or withdraw an investigation on substantial grounds.