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PM Free To Appoint Anyone As His Special Assistant In Line With Constitution, Says IHC

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Prime Minister Imran Khan can appoint anyone as his special assistant as per the constitution, said Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah while hearing a plea against the appointment of Shahzad Akbar as the PM’s special assistant.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah remarked: “If the prime minister did not appoint a qualified person as his adviser, it is his prerogative.”

According to Dawn, petitioner’s counsel Amanullah Kinrani argued the appointment of assistants was against the rule of the National Assembly. At this, Justice Minallah said the PM has the authority to appoint his advisers in line with the constitution. “Shahzad Akbar is part of the federal cabinet,” Kinrani said, adding that the adviser had answered questions in the National Assembly despite the presence of the federal ministers.

Justice Minallah said that the IHC, in its ruling in a case pertaining to the sugar scam, had said that Akbar ‘cannot be a part of the federal cabinet’.

The IHC CJ further asked as to what has happened now that Akbar was being accused of interfering in NAB? “Did he (Akbar) interfere in the matters of NAB chairman? Did he interfere in FIA? You have not presented any such thing to us.”

Justice Minallah noted that the prime minister was answerable to the parliament, adding: “We should strengthen the parliament.” He further said that if the matter was related to rule of law, the petitioner should take it to the relevant bar councils.

The high court reserved its verdict on the case.

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