Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani intervened and directed Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi to take back the compensation notice sent to Federal Minister of Science and Technology Azam Khan Swati, on Monday.
Gilani spoke to both ministers and directed them to refrain from issuing statements against each other, and also directed the religious affairs minister to submit a detailed report on the Hajj scam.
Earlier, Hamid Saeed Kazmi had served a defamation notice against Azam Khan Swati, seeking Rs100 million as compensation for wrongly involving him in the Hajj corruption case.
Express 24/7 correspondent Sabur Ali Syed reported that Swati spoke to the media in Mansera and said that without the connivance of the Religious Affairs Minister, it was not possible for officials to be involved in corruption.
Swati had appealed to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to dismiss Kazmi immediately as he is “directly involved in this scam in one way or another”.
Swati highlighted the plight of the Hajj pilgrims, saying they were innocent people who had been “looted” and overcharged and that facilities were not provided to them.
He said the massive corruption involved the religious affairs minister and that he cannot be exonerated. He further added that instead of arresting other officials, action should be taken against Kazmi.
The Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi served a legal notice on Azam Khan Swati and said that he should provide solid proof of corruption instead of leveling accusations against him.
“Swati is out to destroy my reputation,” said Kazmi, speaking to Express 24/7. “Two federal ministers should not get into an exercise that can create embarrassment for the government.
Kazmi said he is being victimised and has turned to the court because he is unable to find any other remedy.
“Being a minister I cannot say that I cannot take any responsibility, but wrongdoers who have directly committed this crime can also not be imposed on me,” said Kazmi.
He added that eyewitness accounts and details of the corruption and mismanagement had been given to him, and that he would disclose the people responsible for the debacle upon his return to Pakistan.
Ambassador calls for enquiry into Hajj scam
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Omer Khan Sher Zai has asked the government to form a Judicial Commission to launch an inquiry into the Hajj controversy.
Talking to Express News earlier, he said a high level inquiry should be carried out to resolve this issue.
He termed all the allegations levelled against him by Hamid Saeed Kazmi as baseless.
Sherzai was of the view that due to the sensitive nature of the issue, it should not be politicised.