ISLAMABAD - After reservations over FIA investigator Hussain Asghar, all eyes are set on the former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who was summoned by NAB in an illegal appointment case.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had informed the apex court on Tuesday that a reference had been filed against the former establishment secretary Ismail Qureshi and the former cabinet division joint secretary Khalid Gillani in the illegal appointment and promotion cases of Adnan Khawaja and Ahmed Riaz Sheikh respectively.

But the court wanted top executive authorities, who gave the final approval of separate summaries of illegal appointments and promotions, of that time to be investigated.

Sources in the NAB informed that the Bureau had summoned Gilani on December 11 to appear before its investigation team to face probe into illegal appointment case of Khawaja Adnan (former Managing Director of OGDCL.

Interestingly, Khawaja Adnan is known for being the ‘jail buddy’ of Gilani, and Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, a former additional DG FIA was considered a lynch pin in Zardari's inner circle. Furthermore, both Khawaja and Sheikh are NRO beneficiaries, but the law enacted in former President Pervez Musharraf era was declared null and void by apex court of the country in 2009. 

Meanwhile, no official word came from the NAB on summoning Gilani and its media team was reluctant to give an official version on the issue for reasons best known to it.

A source in the NAB who was aware of the development however informed that former Prime Minister had been summoned after the Supreme Court grilled the bureau for not filing a reference against him, ignoring the facts that he had given the approval of these two illegal appointment and promotion cases respectively during his time as PM. According to him, this was a face saving arrangement by the bureau to satisfy the superior judiciary and at any cost NAB would not take action against Gilani.

Yousaf Raza Gilani during his tenure as PM had appointed Adnan Khawaja as Managing Director of Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) ignoring the fact that Khawaja was convicted by a NAB court in a corruption case. Khawaja only held a matriculation certificate when he had been appointed as MD. Similarly, Gilani had given approval for the promotion from Grade 20 to Grade 21 of an FIA officer Ahmed Riaz Sheikh who was also an NRO beneficiary at that time.

Earlier, NAB had sent a questionnaire to Gilani in connection with illegal appointment of Adnan Khawaja when he was the PM but he refused to reply. After the apex court disqualified Gilani from premiership, he responded to that questioner and testified he did not know Khawaja and approved the routine summary of his appointment However, Khawaja had admitted during a TV talk show that he developed acquaintance with former PM when they both were in jail.