The federal government is learnt to have decided not to reinstate the former lead investigator probing the multi-billion-rupee National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) and Hajj corruption cases, including Zafar Qureshi, Syed Javed Bokhari and Hussain Asgher despite facing a contempt notice by the Supreme Court, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The Supreme Court had issued contempt notice to the director-general (DG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in this regard.
On Thursday, DG FIA Malik Muhammad Iqbal is learnt to have gone to the Prime Minister Secretariat, seeking the prime minister’s signature on the summaries earlier sent by the Establishment Division on the orders of the Supreme Court.
He remained more than three hours in the secretariat, but could not succeed in getting his job done, which was assigned to him by the apex court.
A senior bureaucrat is learnt to have conveyed to him on behalf of the prime minister that the government was “not ready” to reinstate Zafar Qureshi as the head of the NICL investigation team because Qureshi’s re-instatement “will harm Pakistan Peoples Party’s new alliance with Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
The summary was not signed by the prime minister till the filing of this report.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday had given the DG FIA two days to reappoint Zafar Qureshi as the lead investigator in the NICL scandal.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary (CJP), had warned the DG FIA that he would be penalised for committing contempt of court.
The case’s hearing was adjourned till Friday May 27 (today) May.
The prime minister has also not signed other summaries related to the reappointment of Syed Javed Bokhari and Hussain Asgher. The Supreme Court had also ordered their reinstatement as officers leading the Hajj scandal investigation.
Syed Javed Bokhari, Hussain Asgher, Zafar Ahmed Qureshi and other investigators of the NICL and Hajj corruption cases reached Islamabad on Thursday afternoon for appearance in Supreme Court on Friday.
These officers said that they had not received any notification for their reappointment.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2011.