President Zardari sticks Fasih Bokhari for NAB Chairman

Rebuffing the objections raised by Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan over the nomination of Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari as Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), President Asif Ali Zardari has termed the selection as according to the law of the country.

The President, in the letter sent to the opposition leader, offered thanks to him for his participation in the consultative process, as mandated by the law, in the nomination of Fasih Bokhari as NAB Chief. He anticipated that Bokhari would carry out the accountability-process in the best manner.

Asif Ali Zardari has responded the letter dispatched to him by the opposition leader in which he rejected the name of Fasih Bokhari on technical grounds.

Earlier, the president proposed the name of former naval chief as a NAB Chairman, which is fell vacant for last six months when appointment of Justice (Retd) Deedar Hussain Shah was rejected by the Supreme Court.

The President, in the letter, clarified that the nomination had been done in accordance with the provisions of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and opposition leader had also been concurred in this regard.

He maintained that Chaudhry Nisar had not commented on the ‘profile’ and ‘integrity’ of Bokhari, which indeed was the material aspect of the consultative process.

Zardari stated that the nomination was done as per the sub-clause (ii) of the clause (BA) of the section 6 of the NAB Ordinance.  The clause (BA) of the section 6 reads as, “A person shall not be appointed as NAB chairman unless he :-(i) is a retired chief justice or judge or the Supreme Court, or a chief justice of a High Court; or (ii) is a retired officer of the armed forces of Pakistan equivalent to the rank of a Lieutenant General; or (iii) is a retired federal government officer in BPS-22 or equivalent.”

Spokesperson to the presidency Farhatullah Babar while briefing the media informed that Zardari discarded the objections raised by the leader of the opposition in which he asked the president to send him a panel of names for the consultation.  In the letter, the president told Chaudhry Nisar that meaningful consultation could be done even one a single nomination, therefore, he took him onboard candidly, Farhatullah added.

Zardari also commented on the objection regarding courts’ verdicts saying, “In order to implement the judgments of the superior courts referred to in your letter a bill is proposed by the federal government and is pending in the parliament wherein process of consideration of the bill by members of the parliament is taking place.”

It is worth mentioning here that Fasih Bokhari served as Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy from 1997 to 1999 and has since been rumoured to have some sort of involvement in the Agosta submarines scandal.

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