Fawad rules out talks with Shahbaz over NAB chief appointment

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry speaking to media in Jehlum, on September 25, 2021. — YouTube/HumNewsLive

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said the government would not hold talks with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif over the appointment of the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) new chairman.

Consulting with Shahbaz over the matter is akin to asking a suspect who their interrogating officer should be, the information minister said while speaking to media in Jhelum.

“Shahbaz Sharif has been declared a suspect by NAB […] and we will hold no consultations with him over the appointment of the NAB chairman,” Chaudhry said.

“Currently, Section 6 of the National Accounta­bility Ordinance (NAO) suggests the president will appoint NAB chairman in consultation with the leader of the house and the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly for a non-extendable period of four years,” according to a report in Dawn.

Earlier, rejecting media reports, Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem had clarified that his ministry had not drafted an ordinance to extend the tenure of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal as the NAB chief.

Talking to media persons, the law minister said the issue of the possible extension of the incumbent NAB chairman’s tenure has come up in meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan four to five times according to local media.

The situation will become clear next week, he hoped, adding that it was the prime minister’s prerogative to pick a person for the post of the head of the anti-corruption watchdog and that he could only give his advice on the issue.

‘Nawaz Sharif, Ashraf Ghani living similar lives’

Meanwhile, slamming PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, the information minister said when Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested, the former prime minister avoided commenting on the matter.

He remarked that Nawaz was living a life similar to that of ousted Afghan president Ashraf Ghani — with one in London and the other in Dubai.

“Nawaz Sharif and Ashraf Ghani fled abroad with dollars,” he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan effectively raised the issue of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the minister added.

PTI to form majority government in next  general elections

The information minister expressed the confidence that PTI would form a majority government in the 2023 elections, and that the polls would prove to be PPP and PML-N’s “last” elections.

“We will form a 2/3 majority government in the Centre […] we had to form a coalition government this time, and we had to make compromises due to that,” Chaudhry said.

The information minister predicted the PML-N and PPP would fall apart during the next general elections, claiming that no politician is ready to take both the parties’ tickets.

“Bilawal offered Rs50 million to each person in South Punjab who would contest elections from PPP’s ticket […] PPP does not have candidates to field in Punjab,” he said.

The information minister claimed that a weekly toss is held between Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif to decided who will lead the PML-N.

Source: The News

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