ISLAMABAD - A petition challenging the appointment of Shahzad Akbar as Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior was filed before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday. A single bench of IHC, comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah, will conduct hearing of the petition moved by a lawyer Syed Pervez Zahoor on Tuesday (today).

In his petition, Zahoor cited Prime Minister of Pakistan through Secretary to the PM, Secretary Cabinet Division, Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as respondents. He stated in the petition that the illegal and unconstitutional appointment of Shahzad Akbar made by the Prime Minister in an arbitrary and whimsical manner as Advisor to the Prime Minister with status of the Federal Minister as well as Chairman Assets Recovery Unit. 

According to the petition, he is invoking the constitutional jurisdiction of the court for issuance of appropriate writs against the illegal appointment of Akbar as unconstitutional, and burden on the debt trapped national economy as illegal status of the Federal Minister and misuse of the public office and discretion only to accommodate friends and cronies on public expense without having specialisation in the relevant fields. 

He adopted that it is the worst example of favoritism, nepotism, conflict of interest and violation of oath of the Prime Minister as contained in the Third Schedule of the Constitution.  Zahoor contended that all powers and function under the Constitution are vested to the Federal Government and the appointments on behalf of Federal Government cannot be made by the Prime Minister under Rule 4(6) of the Rules of Business 1973, without following a due process of law as provided in the Constitution. 

He argued, “there is no doubt that the Respondent No 3 as Advisor on NAB with the status of the Federal Minister and Chairman Asset Recovery Unit is either serving the interests of his political master i.e. the Respondent No 1 or his own-self and in more particularly when there is conflict of interest also as the NAB is working under the NAB Ordinance.”