Pakistan has a long history of illegal appointments and no institution can guarantee the meritocracy it boasts of. Even the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is known for either illegal extensions by retired officials to retain lucrative posts and hiring individuals who are not eligible for the required posts. Under such circumstances, it is not a surprise to find Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani’s brother Muhammad Raziq Sanjrani was illegally appointed as the managing director of Saindak Metals Limited (SML) in 2008.

The development is crucial because NAB as an institution has recently become very vigilant and opened up cases to highlight how alert the institution is, especially in this year of extreme scrutiny. However what is interesting to notice is the relation of the said person with the Senate Chairman. It will be quite a task for NAB to pursue the case against him and to prove that the institution works independent of influences from the outside. Chairman NAB Justice (rtd) Javed Iqbal on several occasions has talked about his unbiased and objective approach to cases. This approach will be put to test with this particular case.

At the same time, it is interesting to note that the Rawalpindi NAB called the accused individuals to court on March 27 but they failed to show up. The gross violation of the court of law should not be ignored. Illegal appointments allow these individuals to amass power only authorised for those who are eligible. This then grants them the space to violate laws as they please. This kind of precedent is bound to affect the smooth functioning of the system, and is also a huge question mark upon the accountability process in the country.