NICL lead officer: Reinstated by the court, ousted by the government

Published: July 5, 2011
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Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik holding a meeting with PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi at the Prime Minister House. PHOTO: PPI

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik holding a meeting with PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi at the Prime Minister House. PHOTO: PPI

LAHORE: 

The rigmarole over the posting of an additional director general of the FIA, which has played out over the last few months between the executive and judiciary, has taken yet another twist.

Finally reinstated on Friday by the Supreme Court to the post of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s lead investigator of a multibillion rupee scam, Zafar Qureshi was sent packing once again on Monday – this time in the form of a suspension.

Suspending Qureshi, the interior ministry has sought an explanation on alleged violation of discipline on his part, which, if not satisfactory, could lead to his termination from service.

An inquiry into the possible termination of Quershi will be headed by Shafqat Nagmi, a grade-22 District Management Group (DMG) officer, and is to be completed within a week.

A brief history

Previously, the outspoken Qureshi was infamously removed as the lead investigator into the multibillion rupee National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scandal few months ago by the government.  A number of high-profile names had surfaced in the investigations into the scandal.

The Supreme Court then or dered that he be reposted by the authorities.

After weeks of delay, and the prime minister’s refusal to implement the order, the court itself had Qureshi reinstated on Friday.

However, the reposting lasted for only two days, with Qureshi being suspended for violating the service discipline.

The move came soon after a meeting between Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at the Prime Minister House. Elahi’s son, Moonis Elahi, has long been suspected of being a central figure in the NICL scandal.

Sources said that the meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. They added that the PML-Q leaders threatened to leave the Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition, which has already suffered the loss of its key partner the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

The PML-Q’s exit, hence, would mean that the government would not have simple majority in parliament.

Build up to the latest suspension

Sources familiar with the matter said that, after being reposted by the Supreme Court on Friday, and taking charge of his office the following day on July 2, Qureshi was delivered a message, that he was to meet Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday. Malik had been abroad for the past few days.

Hours after the message, a show-cause notice, served on the officer concerned at 2am on July 3, sought an explanation from Qureshi for issuing statements to the media as well as assuming the charge of additional director-general FIA and assuming the charge of lead investigation officer in the NICL case without being notified by the establishment division.

In the meeting with Malik on Sunday, sources The Express Tribune that Qureshi had allegedly given three options: Go on long leave, declare that Moonis Elahi was “not guilty” or face severe action.

It was said that Qureshi did not respond favourably.

Qureshi had refuted charges of interacting with the media, explaining that copies of the order were sent to the secretary interior, DG FIA and the registrar of the Supreme Court, saying that this increased the chance of it being leaked to the media. He also explained that he had not done anything on his own and he was only complying with orders of the apex court. He said that he had neither called any press conference nor issued any press statement in this regard.

‘Unsatisfactory reply’

The show-cause notice asked Qureshi to explain his position and “why you should not be proceeded against under the government servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules of 1973 for misconduct.

“Prima-facie your…actions appear (to be) in sheer violation of provisions of Rules 18 and 22 of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964.

“You were accordingly given a fair chance rendering an explanation within 24 hours” of receiving the notice failing which “you would render yourself liable to be preceded against under the rules.

“Your explanation…was examined at the competent level and after due consideration was found unsatisfactory. (Therefore, the) competent authority has been pleased to order to place you under suspension with immediate effect.”

Technicality

The suspension, according to a senior official, was issued by the interior ministry – but should have been issued by the establishment division, which presents an element of illegality.

This could prove to be a technical glitch in the process.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • A Pakistani
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:07AM

    This Nation does not deserve any honest official. PERIOD!!!
    We need to die from Within; without any effort from outside world.Recommend

  • Samad Ali
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:10AM

    Enough is enough. Supreme Court should issue contempt notice against the Prime Minister and all those who are responsible.

    Also why is NRO Swiss account case not being taken up?.Return the nation’s money.

    This news is open defiance of SC orders. If Government does not respect the verdict of the highest court, does it expect others to ?Recommend

  • Arsalan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:20AM

    “Go on long leave, declare that Moonis Elahi was “not guilty” or face severe action.” Is this also being done in the National Interest? I’m amazed by the lengths this unbelievably corrupt government will go to in order to ensure its cancerous survival.Recommend

  • syed Yousaf
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:33AM

    Allah Almighty will doom this government for its injustices as He is Knower of everything.Recommend

  • Qazzafi
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:49AM

    Look at them! stupid is such a small word for them they are the true enemies of Pakistan and they are leading the nation.Recommend

  • vertigo
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:54AM

    Once again, the people of Pakistan are being taken for a ride to cover the ill gotten gains of the few.
    The drama is being played out shamelessly in front of the watching nation.
    The players are so blinded that they do not know that there is no longer a veil on their activities.Recommend

  • Abubakar Khalid
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:56AM

    Damn, these politicians are MESSED UP!!! May Allah help Pakistan and the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 10:12AM

    ppp and Q are greedy tola.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 10:27AM

    Peoples memory is really short… I swear.. I don’t even remember how many times they have played these dirty tricks to hide corruption.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:33AM

    my sincere wishes and gratitude to the honest Mr Qureshi. no matter how things would turn up …Pakistanis will remember him as a civil servant of the highest integrity.Recommend

  • Muhammed Hussain
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:57AM

    Again a blatant act of sheer contempt for the law, thieves protecting thieves when will we see justice against the misuse of public funds. While half the accused have absconded and sitting in London, NICL continues to be used for personal gains, disgraced employees who are no longer there continue to enjoy the facilities given by NICL , when will this all end? Unfortunately officers like Zafar Qureshi will pay the price for crimes committed by others lets hope the Chief Justice can come down hard on all those that oppose the recovery and punishment of those involved in the theft of public money. Its time the grand opposition gets involved and bring this matter to the National assembly.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:18AM

    There is a need of big long march to clear all the scumRecommend

  • SavePakistan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:20AM

    HOW TO PRESSURE A RIVAL POLITICAL PARTY (RVP) TO JOIN YOUR COALITION:
    1. Find a skeleton in the RVP’s closet (favorite suggestions include incidences of corruption in the RVP’s previous regime). Targetting a close family member of the RVP leadership even more effective.
    2. Investigate. Leak information in the press and parliament
    3. Initiate some initial legal proceedings
    4. If the RVP capitulates and joins coalition, try your best to botch up the case**. Else, proceed with full force exiling the RVP member/leader.
    5. Repeat

    ** Make sure you pray a lot that no Honorable Judge figures out your strategy and steps into exact justice.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 11:37AM

    Best wishes to Mr. Qureshi also salutes to him. Don’t worry no matter what will happen with you.Recommend

  • Muhammad Rizwan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:49AM

    Whatever we say, whatever we do, PPP / PML(N) / PML(Q) or MQM will be the ruling parties(s). Because their major vote banks come from the rural areas and these elites have shamelessly worsened the conditions in our rural areas to the extent that they sale our their votes for a mere 300 – 500 Rs.
    Due to our short memory, perhaps we have forgot the JAMSHED DASTI case. Recommend

  • S Khan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:53AM

    The moral of story is UNTOCHABLE are UNTOUCHABLE by low caste people, different set of rules applies.Recommend

  • Muhammad Asghar
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:35PM

    it needs courage to say NO and refuse to do what is not right to the highest authority.My best wishes to Mr.Qurashi.Recommend

  • Atif
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:01PM

    These people has forgotten to DieRecommend

  • SHUJA
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:37PM

    There is nothing new in it.May it be ZQ she or ZQ he.Every one knows them throug TV channels.Good looks but how sacred cows they are,very few people know.They are part of this nation.Biasism has reached the last hope of the nation.Let us pray for judiciary to save its honour by taking up cases like Missions Impossible like Abbotabad & Mehran Base.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 2:03PM

    make voting term only for graduations atleast.
    so then dumb villagers will not influence.
    how come an uneducated person can decide about the countries fate. who even doesnt know which way to turn on left or right according to sign board.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ehsan Elahi
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Now after his suspension, even i know that this is just because of supreme court orders in favor of Qureshi.
    So what would the Supreme Court do now!
    m surprised but Chief Justice Mr. Iftikhar Ch has to take action again for the full, final & complete justice.Recommend

  • Shahid Saeed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:16PM

    Zafar Qureshi and Iftakhar Chaudhary both have become too much political. A little intergrity demands that both should step down. If PMLN wants to settle score with Chaudharies, they should use Punjab Police instead of Supreme Court! Recommend

  • gigyani
    Jul 5, 2011 - 3:00PM

    this nation, from top to bottom, needs a shock therapy.no matter from where the thunderbolt
    comes. Recommend

  • SHUJA
    Jul 5, 2011 - 3:01PM

    I fully agree with shahid saeed.Punjab Police is more competent than all three mentioned.Recommend

  • Kashif Aziz
    Jul 5, 2011 - 3:53PM

    Salute to CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary and Zafar Qureshi …..
    and shame to PPP, PMLQ, PMLN, MQM, JUIF
    I wish Imran Khan and Jamat-e-Islami could join hands to lead this nation, ameenRecommend

  • kashif naqvi
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:01PM

    We really are a Banana Republic! Need i say more?Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 5:21PM

    It seems CJ is powerless against the establishment. All he needs to do is reopen an appeal against conviction by Mr.Rehman and uphold the judgement of LHC.

    Also sentence Mr. Rehman for contempt of court(sentencing is pending)

    CJ should start opening all the cases pending against PPP ministers.Recommend

  • paindo
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:39PM

    hats off to honest zafar qureshi. truth will prevail inshallh.Recommend

  • naeem khan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:28PM

    . In Kansas they say that thugs and thieves will always be thugs and thieves.Shafqat Nagmi should be brought before the Supreme Court and should explain his behavior on record.Supreme Court should throw the book at PM, this incompetent loser is in contempt of the Supreme Court.Only in Pakistan this kind of shenanigans happen, these people would be in jail in Western Countries if they negate the orders of the Supreme Court regardless of their position.You Pakistanis deserve these thugs because you put them there and I don’t see any street protests against these thugs and thievesRecommend

  • Jehanzeb
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:52AM

    looks at these illiterate so called kins , while the nation rest in dark Recommend

  • Malik T
    Jul 6, 2011 - 5:54PM

    WE SALUTE MR ZAFAR QURESHI FOR HIS INTEGRITY and condemn criminals like Moonis Elahi, Qadir Gillani, Qayuum Soomro etc. This country has been ruined by corrupt politicians, generals, bureaucrats, land mafia and smugglers. Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jul 7, 2011 - 3:44AM

    Suppose PPP government had not surrendered to Q league and government had fallen, would we be appreciating PPP on taking stand? I don’t think so, instead we would be distributing sweets. After leaving PPP government, if Q league had joined grand alliance, we would be demanding immediate release of young Elahi. No one understands our mentality more than Zardari and all our friends who are condemning this incident are crying wolf. Recommend

  • buttjee
    Jul 7, 2011 - 1:28PM

    Zafar Qureshi is an honest and competent Officer. In the recent past had conducted almost six inquiries in different capacities in various criminal and corruption cases. In spite of tremendous political pressure he had unearthed the corruption and the powerful networks behind the crimes.Due to his refusal to bow before the powerful political dynasties has been having very rough ride for the last three years. Hats off to his courage. People of Pakistan should extend all out support to such officers who are an asset for the nation. Recommend

  • Asim
    Jul 7, 2011 - 3:14PM

    excellentRecommend

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