ISLAMABAD - As many as 98 applicants have applied for the post of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president that was vacated after incumbent government had suspended former president Saeed Ahmad on the National Accountability Bureau’s request.

The PTI led federal government on August 28, 2018 had suspended the former president Saeed Ahmad on the NAB’s request. Saeed Ahmad is co-accused in a money-laundering case with two other persons. In March 2017, the PML-N government appointed Ahmad as president for a period of almost 22 months. The case had been filed in an accountability court. The NAB, in letters written to the finance ministry, had demanded to remove Ahmad from the post, as he could influence the ongoing investigations.

The federal government had appointed NBP senior vice president Tariq Jamali as acting president of the National Bank. According to the notification, Jamali was appointed as the acting president of the bank until further orders. Later, the government had initiated the process of appointing new president, NBP. Sources informed that as many as 98 applicants had applied for the post of president National Bank of Pakistan. The process is still underway, as the government had shortlisted the applicants. The ministry of finance would move three names to Prime Minister for selecting President NBP.

Besides suspending president NBP, the federal government had also removed top officials of various departments, which were appointed by last government. The officials dismissed include Ms Tahira Raza, president First Women Bank Ltd (FWBL); Syed Talat, president Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL); and Ehsanul Haq, president Small and Medium Enterprises Bank (SME). The tenure of the NBP president was set to expire on January 1, 2019; president First Women Bank was serving on extension, president ZTBL on April 27, 2018 while president of the SME’s tenure ended on Mar 2.

In addition, five regulators appointed during the previous government’s tenure were also removed including Jameel Ahmed, the deputy governor of the SBP; Shamsul Hassan, the deputy governor of the SBP; Ms Vadiyya Khalil, the chairperson of the CCP; Dr Mohammad Saleem, member of the CCP; and Shahzad Ansar, member of CCP.

Sources said that government had already started the process of appointing new heads of departments and regulators.