Justice Baqar front-runner for NAB chairman slot: sources

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai & Asim Yasin
Sunday, May 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The name of Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar is on the top of the candidates' list that the government is considering for the position of the next National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, it emerged on Saturday.

According to sources, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made consultations with the coalition partners of the government on the name of Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar besides other names of bureaucrats and retired judges for the new chairman NAB to replace Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, who would leave the office after the expiry of the ordinance through which he was holding the office till the appointment of new chairman NAB. The ordinance through which the chairman NAB was given an extension is going to expire on June 2. Sources said during the consultation process with the PPP, the name of former chairman NAB Qamar Zaman also came under discussion, but the PPP did not agree to his name.

According to sources, Justice Baqar's name was acknowledged during the meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, while all the parties of the coalition government have also agreed that he was the most suitable candidate for the position.

In addition, opposition leader Raja Riaz has also expressed no objection to Justice Baqar's proposed appointment as the NAB chairman.

If there are no impediments, coalition parties have stated that Justice Baqar will be appointed as the next NAB chairman, sources added.

Justice Baqar had been promoted from the Sindh High Court to the Supreme Court and retired as a judge of the SC on Monday, April 4, 2022.

According to government sources, the judicial record of Justice Baqar Maqbool is immaculate.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, on the other hand, told reporters outside the Islamabad High Court that a "puppet had been appointed as a dummy opposition leader," adding that the nominations for the NAB chairman were being finalised. "Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar is a reasonable man, hopefully, he will not be a part of this process," said Fawad.