SC asks govt to immediately remove FIA chief -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

SC asks govt to immediately remove FIA chief

By Syed Irfan Raza

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed the government on Tuesday to immediately remove Federal Investigation Agency Director General Waseem Ahmed for allegedly continuing interference in the Haj scam despite restrictions imposed by the apex court two months ago.

On this, the government’s lawyer Hafeez Pirzada informed the court that the fate of FIA DG would be decided within three days and a report would be submitted to the Registrar of the court.

“It seems quite evident that the investigation in the case is not being conducted independently and in a transparent manner. Therefore, it can hardly be believed that in the presence of FIA DG Waseem Ahmed, effective and impartial investigation in the case can be conducted,” said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in the order.

After issuance of the order by the apex court, it is likely that the FIA chief will be removed within a few days.

“Such observations have already been issued on a number of times to express dissatisfaction on the investigation being conducted in the case,” the order said.

“It is also to be noted that this court has more than once observed that incumbent DG FIA, who himself is holding this post on contract basis, 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 chief justice said.

It has been learnt that the FIA chief might have committed contempt of court by violating orders of the Supreme Court as it had barred Mr Ahmed from the Haj scam investigation which is being conducted by a joint investigation team headed by FIA officials.
The Supreme Court had on Jan 12 directed the government to remove the FIA chief from the probe into the Haj scam. But despite the court order, the FIA DG has remained associated with the investigation.

Qadir Gilani, the son of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, sent letters to FIA and visited its headquarters on Feb 21, but failed to provide details how he had purchased such an expensive vehicle.

However, talking to journalists during the visit, he had claimed that he belonged to a well-off family and could buy three more such vehicles. It has been learnt that during the visit of Mr Qadir Gilani to FIA headquarters, the FIA DG had held a long meeting with him, but members of the investigation team were not allowed in the meeting.

The statement of FIA DG that Qadir Gilani was not involved in the Haj scam is being seen by observers as an attempt to influence his subordinates investigating the case.

The FIA chief had said: “He (Qadir) has nothing to do with the main Haj scam; he is merely accused of evading duty while importing his jeep.” “We do not have a single piece of evidence involving Qadir Gilani in the Haj scam,” he had said.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/2/2011