ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari late Friday proposed to re-appoint Justice Deedar Hussain Shah as Chairman NAB and sought opinion of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly as a mandatory consultative process for such appointment. Spokesperson to the President, Farhatullah Babar, said that the opinion of the Opposition Leader Ch Nisar Ali Khan has been sought through a letter signed by Secretary Malik Asif Hayat on behalf of the President that was also sent to the Prime Minister for forwarding the same to the Opposition Leader. Justice (Retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah is a man of integrity with rich legal background. Thus he was elevated from the bar as a Judge to the Sindh High Court and remained the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court. He then retired as Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and he is a suitable candidate for the appointment to this post, said the Presidents letter addressed to the Opposition Leader. The President also gave background of the nomination of Syed Deedar Hussain Shah and took note of the earlier objections raised that he had political affiliation with the ruling political party. Taking note of it, the President said that Syed Deedar Shah remained Member of Sindh Provincial Assembly long before he was appointed as Judge of the Sindh High Court in 1994. He was appointed as Judge Sindh High Court keeping in view his vast professional experience and unquestionable integrity and subsequently elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in April, 2000 and served in the apex Court till 2004, the Presidents letter said. Farhatullah said that in order to make the issue crystal clear the Presidents letter also quoted the 1996 Supreme Court judgment in Al-Jehad Trust case that settled the issue of political affiliation of a candidate for judgeship and concluded that political affiliation alone may not disqualify a candidate. The relevant part of the SC judgment in the Al-Jehad Trust case quoted in the letter states: That the question whether political affiliation of a candidate for judgeship of superior court would disqualify him to be appointed as Judge of High Court, has been examined in depth, and it has been found that political affiliation alone may not disqualify the candidate provided he is a person of unimpeachable integrity having sound knowledge in law and is recommended by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned and the Chief Justice of Pakistan. After he is appointed as Judge of the High Court and takes oath to perform is functions without fear, favour or ill-will and decides cases purely on merits, he would be as good as a Judge as any other Judge, who had no political affiliation before assuming the office of a Judge of the High Court. The letter to Nisar also draws attention to the courts observations in the same judgment at page 511 thus: That a person cannot be appointed as a Judge simpliciter for the reason he has political affiliation with a particular political party, but if he is a man of integrity and has sound knowledge of law and is recommended by the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, then his past political affiliation will not be a disqualification. A person of integrity and sound knowledge normally severs his past connections with the political party with which he had affiliation and decides the matter purely on merits. Farhatullah said that the Presidents letter also points out that the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had in 2000 expressed full confidence in Justice Deedar Husain Shah and quotes from the historical record. It is apparent on record that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif filed criminal petition No.172 of 2000 before the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 185(3) read with Article 187-A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, against the order dated 27.06.2000 passed by the Full Bench of High Court of Sindh in Criminal Appeal No.43 of 2000 wherein Nawaz Sharif reposed full confidence in the then Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah, the letter said. Thus Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, at the most critical juncture of his life reposed the fullest confidence in Mr. Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah, the Presidents letter said. Not only this but he has also cited the conduct of Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah, then Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court, as precedent during the tenure of his successor which is manifestly clear from the petition for leave to appeal under Article 185(3) against order dated 27.06.2000 passed in Cr: Appeal No.43/2000 by Full Bench of High Court of Sindh, the letter said. Nisar is requested to kindly consider the proposal of appointment of Justice (R) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah as Chairman NAB and convey his views in this behalf, the Presidents letter said. In a separate letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the President said that in terms of Section 6 (b)(i) of the NAB Ordinance, 1999, the consultation with the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly is a requirement of law for purposes of appointment of Chairman, NAB. Therefore, consultation with Leader of the House (the Prime Minister of Pakistan) is made to meet the requirement of law, the letter to the Prime Minister also signed by Secretary Asif Hayat said. According to the available information on record, Justice (Retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah is a suitable person for appointment to the post being a man of integrity with rich legal knowledge and background as he was elevated from the Bar as a Judge to the Sindh High Court and remained Chief Justice of Sindh High Court before his elevation as a Judge to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the letter to the Prime Minister further said. Admittedly, Justice (Retd) Syed Deedar Hussain Shah meets the qualifications for the appointment on vacancy in the office of Chairman, NAB. To make the process of consultation meaningful the Prime Minister may consider the above facts resume qua this appointment in order to fulfil the legal requirements. A separate letter has also been written for carrying out the process of consultation with the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, the President letter to the Prime Minister said asking him also that the letter be delivered to the Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly. Farhatullah Babar said that relevant provisions of the law laying down qualifications for appointment of Chairman NAB state as under: 6.(ba) A person shall not be appointed as Chairman NAB unless he- (i) is a retired Chief Justice or a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court; or (ii) a retired officer of the Armed Forces of Pakistan equivalent to the rank of a Lieutenant General; or (iii) a retired Federal Government Officer in BPS-22 or equivalent. Meanwhie, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Babar Awan has said that the government may consider the name of Justice (Retd) Deedar Hussain Shah for reappointing him as Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He was addressing media persons in the premises of Supreme Court on Friday. 'New Chairman NAB will be appointed soon and there is no Constitutional bar on reappointment of Deedar Hussain Shah as Chairman NAB, he said. He ruled out the confrontation between the executive and judiciary after the courts order against the appointment of Chairman NAB. Babar said that the government had decided to hold Local Bodies election very soon for engaging more people in the power structure. He also mentioned that on the start of new Parliamentary Year, President Asif Ali Zardari would address the Joint Session of the Parliament on March 21st. He said small provinces were pushing back and they had been deprived of their rights, as bodies of former Prime Ministers were sent to Sindh province, ,therefore, the people of Sindh were expressing their concern on Friday. He said PML-N had always tried to engage the Army in the executive affairs, ,therefore, we witnessed the coup on October 12, 1999. Criticising the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly for challenging the appointment of Chairman NAB Justice Deedar Hussain Shah, the Federal Minister said that he had never challenged any act of dictator in the past. He said the government had successfully completed the three years despite 'brutal media trial. Awan expressed his concern over the strike of young doctors in Punjab and asked the Punjab government to accept the demands of these young doctors.