Having been instructed to terminate the contract of the incumbent director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and given a three-day deadline to do so by the Supreme Court, the federal government on Saturday expressed its inability to comply with the orders – at least immediately.
In a reply submitted to the apex court on the matter, the government, through the Establishment Division, argued that DG FIA Waseem Ahmed is monitoring issues of national significance and therefore cannot be immediately removed from his post, said sources quoting from the report.
The reply has prompted the Supreme Court to summon a hearing on the matter on the next working day – Monday, – according to a press release from the office of the apex court’s public relations officer. The reply, and the justifications given for the non-compliance, will be placed before a six-member bench of the Supreme Court hearing the Hajj scam case.
However, the government has assured the court that Ahmed has been dissociated from the investigation of several high-profile cases extensively covered by the media, namely the Pakistan Steel Mills, National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) and the Hajj scam, according to sources in the Establishment Division.
When contacted by The Express Tribune, Establishment Division Secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry confirmed that the government has explained its stance on the issue in a reply submitted to the apex court, but he did not confirm the contents of the reply.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed the government to immediately terminate the services of Waseem Ahmad, a former inspector general of the police, for allegedly interfering in the ongoing investigation of the Hajj scam, which involves several high profile suspects, despite restrictions imposed by the apex court two months ago.
Ahmed had been reemployed by the government on contract – something that the apex court expressed concern about, given that he and other contract officials cannot be held accountable in accordance with the Civil Servants Act. Contractual officers are bound only by the terms and conditions of their contracts.
The apex court had declared that the investigation of the above-mentioned cases was not conducted independently.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had observed that, under the supervision of the current DG FIA, it is cannot be assured that the agency will carry out an impartial investigation of the Hajj scam.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ