Hearing both the Ephedrine and NICL cases on Thursday, the Supreme Court questioned why two federal ministers from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), each allegedly involved in either case, have not been arrested.
Questioning Brigadier Faheem, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Rawalpindi Regional Directorate Force Commander, while hearing the Ephedrine case, the court asked him why federal minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin had not been arrested after ANF investigations revealed he approved the illegal ephedrine quota.
Brig Faheem maintained the bureaucracy was creating hindrances for the ANF to proceed against suspects in the case. He added that the chief executives of the two pharmaceutical companies involved in the case had been arrested for investigation.
Meanwhile, hearing the NICL case, the court expressed displeasure over the failure of the Commerce Secretary and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take any action against federal minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
“Why have you not arrested him (Fahim) after his involvement in the scam has been established?” the Chief Justice asked FIA Sindh Director Moazzam Jah.
The court observed Fahim had approved Ayan Khan Niaz’s appointment as National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) chairman without proper certification before the huge sum had been embezzled. The court also probed the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in this regard. The Chief Justice asked FIA officials why the money had not been recovered from foreign accounts as well.
The court also expressed displeasure with Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood’s visit to China. FIA officials were also asked why no appeal against the acquittal of Moonis Elahi, son of Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) senior minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, had been filed.
Noting that six FIA director generals had been changed during the case proceedings, the court observed the government had made deliberate attempts to save the ‘influential’. The main suspects in the case, close to former FIA director general Waseem Ahmad, had been given an opportunity to flee, it added. The court also maintained two anti-terrorism courts in Karachi probing the NICL case had yet to be made functional by the government since the names of the federal minister and his family surfaced in their proceedings as well.
It directed FIA to not consider the court’s decree meaningless and take action against Fahim.
“If you come from Karachi, spending huge amounts, without any progress then send us such insignificant papers through the post office,” the Chief Justice advised FIA officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.
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