New accountability boss is a NAB veteran

Ansar Abbasi
Thursday, Jan 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Absence of NAB Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal has been felt from the scene during the time when the Imran Khan government has removed Barrister Shahzad Akbar and appointed Brigadier (retd) Musaddiq Abbasi as his new accountability adviser.

According to a NAB spokesman, the bureau’s chairman is unwell. The chairman is not attending office after being tested COVID positive, the spokesman said, adding that Javed Iqbal is expected to re-join his office in a couple of days’ time. Shahzad Akbar resigned on Monday, reportedly after having been told by Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down. Media reports suggest that the prime minister was unhappy with Shahzad Akbar for his failure to deal with the Sharifs’ cases to the satisfaction of the prime minister. Shahzad Akbar also failed to fix the sugar mafia after having raised the expectation of the prime minister. After Akbar’s departure, many are surprised at Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to appoint Brig (retd.) Musaddiq Abbasi, who is a pure technocrat having no affiliation with any political party, as his special assistant on accountability.

Abbasi has worked for a long in NAB. Those who had worked with Abbasi in the Bureau, told this correspondent that he enjoyed a good reputation. “It would be wrong to expect Musaddiq Abbasi to follow in the footsteps of Shahzad Akbar,” a NAB official said on condition of not being named. He added that Musaddiq Abbasi, during his days in NAB, always believed in across the board accountability. The NAB source said that the brigadier was never in favour of making false cases against anyone. Abbasi, who had joined NAB in uniform during the Musharraf era, had headed NAB Karachi, NAB Peshawar, NAB Quetta besides serving in the Bureau’s headquarter as director general.

It is not clear how and, on whose recommendation, the prime minister picked Brig (retd.) Abbasi as his special assistant on accountability. A source in the PM’s office said that the prime minister was told by someone about the standing and reputation of Brig Abbasi. After having been convinced, the prime minister decided to appoint Brig Abbasi as his new accountability advisor. According to a source who has worked with him, he would be unlike his predecessor Shahzad Akbar.