Barrister Mirza Shahzad Akbar has been appointed as Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior with the status of a federal minister with immediate effect, a notification from the Cabinet Division issued Wednesday read.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communications Shahbaz Gill shared the notification, which stated that Akbar “shall cease to hold the office of the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior” consequent to upon his appointment as the adviser.
The barrister’s appointment as the adviser came on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advice to President Dr Arif Alvi.
Akbar had been wearing three hats — that of Special Assistant on Accountability and Interior Ministry as well as the chief of the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) with the status of minister of state — since December 2019, making him one of the powerful individuals in the PTI-led government.
A former official of Pakistan’s anti-graft watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Akbar is a human rights lawyer who had campaigned globally for the victims of drone strikes.
He is also the director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, an organisation that provides legal aid to enforce fundamental rights guaranteed under the country’s constitution.
Back in 2018, PM Imran in his maiden speech had vowed to launch a campaign against the corruption in Pakistan, announcing to keep the Interior Ministry with himself so that he can personally monitor the progress.