ISLAMABAD -  To fill the constitutional vacuum created by the retirement of Auditor General of Pakistan, the President of Pakistan on Tuesday appointed Haque Nawaz as an acting AGP.

In exercise of the power conferred on him under article 168(6) of the constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan, the President has been pleased to appoint Haque Nawaz, presently working as Additional Auditor General-II, as acting Auditor General of Pakistan with immediate effect till appointment of a regular incumbent, said a notification issued here. Haque Nawaz is a grade 22 officer from the Audit and Accounts group is due to retire by the end of April upon reaching the age of 60.

The post of Auditor General of Pakistan was lying vacant after the retirement of Asad Amin who retired from his post on April 8. 

Even the issue was raised in the Senate session and Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani pointed out that a constitutional vacuum has been created due to the absence of permanent AGP. He questioned that why the post of AGP kept vacant. Raza Rabbani said that under the constitution the federal and provincial governments cannot operate their accounts in the absence of AGP. Similarly, the Public Account Committees (PAC) will become dysfunctional in the absence of AGP, he said.

Under the 18th amendment, a senior officer from the official of AGP has to be appointed an acting AGP till the appointment of the permanent one, he added. Ishaq Dar informed the Senate that a summary of Haque Nawaz, a grade 22 officer, has been sent to the President for appointing him as acting AGP till the appointment of a suitable person to the post. “I was advised by finance ministry to appoint a person on look after charge but after the 18th amendment this is not constitutional therefore I followed the due process of law,” Ishaq Dar said. A person with look after charge is neither empowered to forward annual reports to the President and parliament for debate and approval.

To fill the post of the AGP after retirement of Rana Assad Amin on April 8, a summary with four names has been forwarded to the President for approval, however, later two more names were added to the list. Usually the Ministry of Finance moves a summary to the president of Pakistan through the finance secretary.

In the original summary the names of Secretary Railways Perveen Agha, two Additional Auditors Generals Haque Nawaz and Imran Iqbal, and a retired Additional Auditors General Javed Jehangir were included. However later the summary was revised and names of grade 22 audit and account officer Shagufta Khanum and another officer Asif from the same group were added to the list.