THE Supreme Court has rightly turned down the governments plea for changing the counsel in the NRO review petition, on the ground that the previous counsel Kamal Azfar has been appointed Advisor to the Prime Minister and it needed time to replace him with a suitable candidate. The official move was widely viewed as an attempt at saving Mr Zardaris skin for a certain period of time by putting off the day when the government was left with no choice but to ask for the reopening of the cases against him in the Swiss courts. The court ordered that the notification appointing Barrister Azfar as Advisor should be withdrawn to enable him to appear in the case scheduled for October 13. It is a pity that all efforts of the government seem to be directed towards frustrating the apex courts verdict nullifying the NRO that constituted the basis for the withdrawal of cases of corruption and wrongdoing, which had been pending with the NAB. And seeking delay in the hearing of the NRO review petition, through the request to change the lawyer, is not the only ruse it has adopted to achieve this end. The key assignment of the chairmanship of NAB, given to a controversial figure, is another. As the appointment has been challenged in the court, the decision would also put to rest the doubt whether 'consultation, as required under the law, did take place between the ruling party and the opposition leader. The governments contention, as articulated by Law Minister Babar Awan, is that 'consultation was not designed to evolving a consensus, but only seeking advice. The general feeling is that, being a PPP activist and a two-time MPA elected on the party ticket in the past, the new Chairman would try to wriggle out of approaching the Swiss courts and manoeuvre a clean slate for the Presidents close associates in their cases in Pakistani courts. He is mainly responsible for dealing with the accountability cases. This has provoked an outrage, especially from the PML-N circles, and Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif threatened, on Sunday, to organise a 'long march to Islamabad to underline the partys objection, terming the appointment as adding insult to injury and a crude attempt at hiding corruption. Referring probably to the charge that Mian Nawaz Sharif had once praised Justice (retd) Deedar Hussain Shah, he said that the PML-N wanted the looted wealth brought back to Pakistan, and there was no personal grudge involved. Whatever the decision of the court, few would disagree that to clear the air charged with corruption, it is imperative that an honest and non-controversial person heads the NAB.