The head of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) misreported facts in the National Insurance Company Ltd (NICL) prosecution in order to have its chief investigator, Zafar Qureshi, removed from the case.
In a letter written to the establishment division, the headquarters of the federal government’s bureaucracy, FIA director-general Malik Iqbal claimed that all of the money embezzled from the NICL had been recovered and thus there was no need to retain Qureshi as lead investigator in the case. The recovery process is still ongoing.
During the investigation, the team led by Qureshi had uncovered evidence against former FIA head Waseem Ahmad, former NICL chairman Ayaz Niazi and Punjab Assembly member Moonis Elahi before Qureshi was summarily removed from the case.
Before his dismissal, Qureshi had written letters to the Supreme Court and the Establishment Division alleging that the FIA director-general was concealing facts and impeding the investigation. He also said that Rs420 million of the embezzled amounts had yet to be recovered.
After Waseem Ahmed resigned, Qureshi wrote a letter to his replacement, detailing the manner in which his predecessor had been hindering progress in the NICL case.
Iqbal wrote back on April 12, directing Qureshi to transfer all of his investigation documentation to FIA headquarters in Islamabad.
On April 16, Qureshi wrote back, asking for the orders to be withdrawn since the investigation was being carried out on the orders of the Supreme Court. Two days later, Qureshi was removed from his position on the investigation team.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2011.
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