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Admiral Bokhari might accepted by PML-N as NAB chief

13 October, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari, nominated by President Asif Ali Zardari as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), has talked to Mian Nawaz Sharif to explain that he had nothing to do with the controversial Agosta submarines deal and the massive kickbacks involved.

Admiral Bokhari called Nawaz Sharif on the day the Presidency made public his name as the NAB chairman three days ago and offered his explanation, a senior PML-N leader told our sources.

First, he said, Bokhari made his position clear to Nawaz Sharif's political secretary who was called by him to talk to the PML-N chief. After a couple of hours, Nawaz returned the call to Bokhari in which the latter pointed out that a party leader has not only rejected his nomination but also alleged that he was involved in the Agosta deal.

It was on the PML-N president's intervention that the party leader Senator Mushahidullah, who had hurled the charge at Bokhari, not only retracted it but tendered an apology, the source said. As prime minister, Nawaz Sharif had appointed Bokhari as the naval chief, who had protested over the Kargil adventure of Pervez Musharraf.

Meanwhile, leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who is one of the only two required to be consulted the other one being the prime minister in the appointment of the NAB chairman, was unlikely to touch on the rejection or acceptance of Bokhari's nomination in his letter in response to President Zardari's communication that proposed the selection of the former naval chief, a credible source told our sources.

This clearly means that the high level party meeting that Nawaz Sharif presided over on Wednesday, which mulled over Bokhari's nomination as the NAB chairman, did not turn down the proposal altogether but it also did not publicly announce that the PML-N has accepted it.

The source said that in his letter Chaudhry Nisar would take a serious exception to the "crude way" in which the process of consultation has been undertaken by the president, pointing out that it was in total violation of the Supreme Court judgment on the NAB chairman's appointment in which Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shah's nomination was shot down.

According to the source, the way the same letter has been addressed to the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in a rough and crude manner reflects as if it has been sent to some "subordinates," not the two most important elected leaders of the nation in the National Assembly.

The source said that Chaudhry Nisar would write that the way he has been "consulted" was not the proper method envisioned by the apex court ruling. The process adopted by the president is farcical and flawed, he said referring to the contents of the letter to be sent on Thursday. "It lacks sobriety and seriousness."

The method adopted by the president lacks another significant element- the chief justice of Pakistan has not been consulted. The apex court verdict left no room for the ruling Zardari-Gilani duo to continue using NAB to cover up corruption instead of curbing it.

Justifying the role of the CJP as one of the consultees, the judgment said: ".....the chief justice of Pakistan comes in as a consultee in his capacity as a guardian and defender of the constitutional and legal rights of the people at large. The chief justice of Pakistan can also play a salutary role in the matter of such appointment particularly when there is a serious difference of opinion between the other consultees over the proposed appointment of chairman National Accountability Bureau.

We, therefore, reiterate the importance of consulting the Chief Justice of Pakistan in the matter of appointment of Chairman, National Accountability Bureau and expect that the recommendations and suggestions repeatedly made by this Court in that regard through different judgments handed down by it from time to time shall be given effect to in all future appointments to that office. We entertain no manner of doubt that anybody interested in making an honest and good appointment to that office would not feel shy of consulting the chief justice of Pakistan in that connection."


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