NAB chief tenders resignation -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NAB chief tenders resignation

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau Chairman Nawed Ahsan tendered his resignation on Wednesday but was asked by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to continue till the appointment of his successor, sources in the NAB and Prime Minister’s Secretariat told Dawn.

According to a press release issued by the PM’s secretariat, Mr Gilani said after presiding over a meeting that the appointment of a new chairman of the bureau would be made in consultation with the leader of the house and leader of the opposition as required by law.

“The present incumbent has already offered to resign, but he was asked to continue till the appointment of his substitute as per the observation of the Supreme Court,” it said.

It is learnt that the NAB chief had been under tremendous pressure since the Supreme Court declared the National Reconciliation Ordinance unconstitutional. The pressure intensified when the court directed the bureau to reopen Swiss cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Meanwhile, the government is reported to be considering the name of former petroleum secretary Mehmood Saleem Mehmood to succeed Nawed Ahsan.

There are also reports that a retired Supreme Court judge may be considered for the post.

Political analysts here are of the opinion that a new controversy may erupt because anyone nominated by the government for the post of NAB chief has to be acceptable to the opposition and judiciary.

According to the draft of new Accountability Ordinance, which is proposed to replace the NAB Ordinance of 1999, a retired superior court judge can become NAB chairman but the appointment cannot be made without the consent of the Pakistan Muslim League-N.

The NAB chairman has recently removed prosecutor general Danishwar Malik and deputy prosecutor general Baseer Qureshi in accordance with the directives of the apex court.

It is learnt that the government tried to replace NAB officials with loyal people to protect its own interests and those of the beneficiaries of the National Reconciliation Ordinance .

Later the government realised that NAB officials, especially the chairman, had a legal cover under the NAB Ordinance and could be removed only by adopting the procedure required for removal of a judge of superior judiciary.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/25/2010