ISLAMABAD - In a bid to revive National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), the federal government has decided to appoint Aftab Sultan, the incumbent director general of Intelligence Bureau (IB) as authority's next chief, The Nation has learnt.

Aftab Sultan enjoys good repute among officers of Police Service of Pakistan and is due to retire this week after reaching the age of superannuation.

Moreover, another honest and upright PSP officer Zulfiqar Cheema, who is heading the motorway police, is likely to be appointed as DG IB, well-placed sources told this correspondent.

The sources in the Establishment Division maintained that Additional Inspector General Balochistan Police, Mir Zubair, is the favourite candidate for Sindh Police chief. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may take the decision regarding these appointments during the running week.

"At present, all eyes are on the Musharraf issue and everyone is waiting for settling of dust," the sources said.

Aftab Sultan has served as inspector general of police in Punjab during the caretaker set-up. He was also the additional IG finance and is said to enjoy good terms with the ruling party; however, he is more famous for his good repute and uprightness.

Aftab Sultan is likely to be appointed as new NACTA chief on contract basis after the approval of the PM, said the sources. The government wants to appoint a senior and experienced officer for the formation of NATCA and Aftab Sultan appears to be the best choice, sources held.

On the other hand, Zulfiqar Cheema was first conveyed that he would be appointed as IGP Islamabad but all of a sudden he was dumped in motorway police. Off late the centre wanted him to head the Sindh Police, which was refused by the Sindh government.

Interestingly, in August 2010 it was DIG Cheema who saved the day for PPP in by-election in Gujranwala and was termed as savoir by PPP minister when Cheema denied a free walk to PML-N candidate through rigging. It is not Cheema alone who has been dumped in motorway police as there are many other senior and honest officers of PSP who have chosen to be in motorway police instead of becoming part of the rotten police system, which is controlled by the elected MPs.