ISLAMABAD: As the saga of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) beneficiaries gains momentum, the government has prepared a ‘separate list’ of beneficiaries of the scrapped law who are still working in different government departments, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Last week, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had directed the Establishment Division to compile a list of NRO beneficiaries holding public office which has been furnished to him, establishment division sources said.
The list carries the names of the more than 70 beneficiaries still working in departments including the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) and different ministries in the federal government.
Another list that carries the names of leading politicians and technocrats was made public last year by the then state minister of law and justice Afzal Sandhu. The list carried 248 names out of over 8,000 beneficiaries of a law enacted by the former president General Pervez Musharraf in 2007.
The Supreme Court later struck down the legislation declaring it “void ab initio” – that is, the law never legally existed. The court had ordered the government to reopen the cases against all accused, including President Zardari and many top government functionaries.
The government will be presenting the list of major beneficiaries of the NRO in the Supreme Court tomorrow (Monday).
The name of President Asif Ali Zardari, who was allegedly involved in eight different cases, has been deleted from the other list that contains some 270 names that the government will submit with its summary on the implementation of the NRO verdict. The government insists that the president has immunity under the Constitution and no case against him can be opened till he holds office of the head of state.
The name of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who was accused of illegal detention of complainants and illegal gratification, is on top of the list.
Establishment secretary Ismail Qureshi confirmed to The Express Tribune that the list carries some 270 serving officials, including some 15 top officials of ruling political groupings.
NAB director general operations, Kausar Malik, also confirmed that one list already has been put up in the Supreme Court. However, a fresh list of NRO beneficiaries will be presented on Monday, he added.
Meanwhile, the former state law minister was curious about the reported change in the list of NRO beneficiaries compared to the list he had made public. “I won’t comment on that but I believe in the list which I made public on November 2009 carrying 8,041 names of NRO beneficiaries,” he said.
While the Establishment Division list further revealed the names of Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, parliamentary leader of the MQM in the National Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar, Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Ghauri, Sindh Provisional Minister Shoaib Bokhari, Minister of State for Housing Tariq Anis, Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durani, Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqani, Secretary President House Salman Farooqi, Assistant Director FIA Sajjad Haider, Inspector FIA Moeen Ashraf, Assistant Director FIA Ishrat Ali, Assistant Director FIA, Noor Muhammad Kaka, Additional Director FIA Ali Asghar Kaka, Assistant Manager GHQ, Habibullah Tasnim, Pir Mukaram-ul-Haq and many other top officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2010.
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