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PTI Govt extends NAB chief’s tenure

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to extend the tenure of the incumbent National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chief till a new successor is appointed.

Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal was appointed during the tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government; his tenure was supposed to end on October 8 this year.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the PM chaired a high-level meeting today wherein this decision was made. Sources said that Prime Minister Imran Khan also accepted the suggestion put forward by Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Kahlid Jawed Khan regarding amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.

It has been decided that a new NAB chairperson will be appointed with the consultation of Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in the National Assembly.

The PM has also agreed with the AGP’s suggestion that the power to remove the NAB chief should rest with the Supreme Judicial Council instead of the president who is appointing authority.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced that an ordinance regarding amendments in the NAO will be promulgated on Wednesday.

It is learnt that the government has agreed to give the option of bail in the NAO 1999. Likewise, the deadline regarding the conclusion of trials in NAB cases would be extended from 30 days to six months.

However, the incumbent government will not bring amendments to NAO for structuring the NAB chairman’s power of arrest.

Late last month, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto had said that his party would “forcefully oppose” the “illegal extension” in the tenure of the NAB chief.

Bilawal maintained that the law specifies that the tenure may not be extended. He added that even if an extension was attempted for the incumbent NAB chairperson, it would prove his party’s position that NAB is “an extension” of the PTI government and “not impartial”.

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