Can’t tow lines; NAB chief calls it a day


Urges NAB officers to do everything on merit; spills beans as to how he was influenced to institute false cases

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Aftab Sultan has tendered his resignation as National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, media reported on Tuesday after reportedly refusing to “toe the line”.

He was appointed as head of the anti-graft chief on July 21, 2022, for three years. A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Sultan had presented his resignation to PM Shehbaz citing personal reasons.

“The prime minister appreciated the services of Aftab Sultan and lauded his honesty and uprightness. Upon his insistence, the prime minister reluctantly accepted the resignation of Sultan,” said the PM Office.

He also Urged NAB officers to do everything on merit He also spilled beans as to how he was influenced to institute false cases. He further said that I was asked to give favours illegally. He added, the government should hold elections in the Punjab and KP within 90 days.

Speaking to media, Sultan said that he had resigned from office a few days ago. “I was asked to do certain things which were not acceptable to me,” Aftab Sultan said.

“I told them that I cannot continue with the conditions. My resignation has been accepted and it comes to an end on a positive note,” he said. “Prime minister expressed good wishes for me, I also have good wishes for him.”

The sources revealed that Sultan had refused to make arrests of politicians on someone’s orders. “He was pressurised by the government and some other institutions in the last four months to register cases against the people of their choice and arrest them,” they further said.

Sultan, according to the source, had also withdrawn the arrest powers from NAB director-generals (DGs) to avoid misuse of authority by the officials.  He was brought in by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government after Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal’s tenure ended last year.

Reacting to the development that has “dented” the transparency of the current collation government, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the resignation of the NAB chairman is a big step towards the collapse of the fascist system.

 “Aftab Sultan resigned against the ‘interference’ in his work,” the former federal minister said, adding those 22 officers who were appointed in Punjab for the same purpose should also step aside. “It is in the interest of both the country and the bureaucracy.”

Considered an upright officer by his peers and colleagues, Sultan also served as Punjab Police IG and was later appointed as director general of the Intelligence Bureau. He was holding the same post when the PTI staged the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad.

He had also served as director-general of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) during the tenure of then-prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. A NAB reference was also approved against him and he remained a co-accused with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged irregularity in the purchase of vehicles in the name of a SAARC conference.

Former foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry was also a co-accused and they were facing charges of causing a loss of Rs1.95 billion to the national exchequer.