FIA chief Waseem Ahmed bows out
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD: In what is seen by many as a dropscene of the row between the judiciary and the executive, Federal Investigation Agency Director General Waseem Ahmed resigned on Wednesday.
On March 1, the Supreme Court had directed the government to remove Mr Ahmad within three days, observing that transparent investigation into the Haj scam was not possible as long as he holds the office of FIA chief.
Sources told Dawn that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani accepted Mr Ahmed’s resignation.
Malik Mohammad Iqbal, Balochistan’s Inspector General of Police, has been appointed as the new chief of the FIA.
In his resignation letter, Mr Ahmed said that his continued appointment by reason of extension in service as FIA DG had become the subject of an unprecedented controversy.
“On one hand the Federal Government is reluctant to relieve me while on the other the Supreme Court of Pakistan desires that I be relieved of my responsibility. I do not consider it appropriate that my extension in service as DG FIA should in any way undermine any organ of the state.
I therefore consider it my duty in the interest of the country to voluntarily submit my resignation, which I hereby do. However this letter issues without admission of any allegations that I have misdirected any official investigation or misused my official position in any way and I reserve my right to clear my name and defend myself against any allegations of wrongdoing or neglect.”
A six-member bench of the apex court had stated: “This court has more than once observed that incumbent DG FIA, who himself is holding this post on contract basis in a disciplined force, is responsible for not allowing the investigation of the instant case to proceed in a transparent manner; however, despite these observations, no action has been taken against him.”
The apex court said that appointments on contract would not be allowed to continue in pursuance of Section 14 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973, unless all the conditions specified are satisfied. It observed that the government was apparently not interested in implementing the court’s directive, pointing out that 110 officials were working on important posts on contractual basis.
On Jan 11, the court had asked the government to consider dissociating Mr Ahmad from the inquiry into the Haj scam. On April 5, the Establishment Division had submitted a report to the apex court stating that it was not possible to immediately remove the FIA DG as he was dealing with some important matters concerning national security.
The chief justice issued directives to the office to place the report before the bench in the week commencing on March 7.
The matter was taken up for hearing on March 12 and the government was given another four days to remove the FIA DG. The court sought his removal by March 16, saying that otherwise it would take its own decision.
Both the deadlines passed without any action from the government side.