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IHC declares appointment of SBP governor legal

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday declared the appointment of Tariq Bajwa as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as lawful. 

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC dismissed a petition filed by as many as 22 senators challenging the appointment of the SBP Governor.

Mr. Bajwa was appointed as the central bank Governor by President Mamnoon Hussain on July 7, 2017 for a period of 3 years starting from the day he assumed his new responsibilities.

The senators belonging to various political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP) moved the high court against the appointment last year.

They alleged that the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government ignored legal requirements and procedures for the appointment of the central bank governor.

The petitioners argued the appointment was unlawful, and of no legal effect and requested the IHC to declare Bajwa’s appointment as illegal and unlawful.

A resolution seeking immediate removal of the SBP governor was also moved by the opposition at that time. However, the ministry of finance issued a statement saying the appointment was made in accordance with the State Bank Act 1956.

On July 7, last year, the federal government appointed former finance secretary Tariq Bajwa as new governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) after the post fell vacant following the retirement of Ashraf Mahmood Wathra.

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