Accountability lynchpin Aftab Sultan resigns in surprise move

Accountability lynchpin Aftab Sultan resigns in surprise move


PM Shehbaz Sharif has accepted his resignation

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News)  - In a surprise move, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Aftab Sultan has resigned from the post over alleged pressure to pursue some corruption cases, Dunya News reported on Tuesday. 

Mr Sultan said he had presented his resignation to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting two days ago. He claimed the premier asked him to withdraw the resignation but he refused. He said his resignation had been subsequently accepted.

“I was being told to do the thing that is unacceptable to me,” he said, adding: “I always worked on merit in my professional life”. The outgoing NAB chief said it was not possible for him to forcefully make or end corruption cases against anyone. 

“There are always reservations when something bad happens,” he said, adding that he did not want to commit any mistake that could hurt the reputation of the institution. “There were some constraints and I found it better to resign.” 

In July last, the federal cabinet approved his appointment as head of the anti-graft watchdog. He had replaced former NAB chief retired Justice Javed Iqbal.

Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz had accepted the resignation of the NAB chief. 

Aftab Sultan’s Farewell Address 

In his farewell address to the NAB officers, Mr Sultan said he could not tolerate intervention in his working domain. He said he was asked to target people. "A person who has stashed billions abroad had asked to arrest a person for owning a plot," he recalled.

“I did my job as NAB chief with honesty and didn’t mint money,” he said and urged officers to follow the Constitution and did not accept unconstitutional and illegal orders. “as many as 99 per cent employees of NAB are honest,” he commented.

He also said elections should be held in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as per the Constitution and new governments should be accepted.

- Profile - 

The outgoing NAB chairman is a law graduate from the Punjab University, who later obtained LLM from the University of Cambridge and did MSc in jurisprudence/legal studies from the University of Edinburgh. He is also known for refusing to assist the administration as the regional police officer in Sargodha during the referendum called by the late Gen Parvez Musharraf in 2002. As a punishment, he was later made OSD by the then military-led government.

In 2007, the then government promoted him in Grade-21 and he was posted as Additional IG (Welfare and Finance) in the Punjab Police. During his stint as AIG, he led a team to investigate the famous Bank of Punjab's (BoP) loan scam involving around Rs9 billion. He had prepared a 5,000-page report, which was accepted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He took over as IGP Punjab in March 2013 after he was promoted to the post by the then caretaker governments. He has also served as Commandant at the National Police Academy in Islamabad.

Mr Sultan had retired as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief on April 3, 2018 after serving since June 7, 2013.