Hajj scam probe: Hussain Asghar to be reinstated in FIA

Mehdi Shah agrees to release officer in compliance with SC orders.

Shabbir Mir June 07, 2012


The Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister has finally agreed to release Hussain Asghar from his post as the region’s police chief, a day after the Supreme Court gave an ultimatum to the former Federal Investigation Agency official.

Chief Minister Mehdi Shah said on Wednesday that he would release G-B Inspector General of Police Asghar after choosing his replacement from a list of prospective candidates sent by the federal government.

“I have no issue with the Supreme Court of Pakistan and we respect court orders,” Mehdi Shah told reporters after being asked whether he would accept the court’s order to reinstate Asghar’s back in the federal government.

A few months back, the apex court had ordered for the reinstatement of Asghar to his previous post in the federal government where he had been investigating the Hajj corruption scandal. However, Shah had refused to release Asghar as the police chief saying that he had not been consulted before the orders were issued for the transfer.

“I wasn’t against the Supreme Court but against the procedure that was adopted last time to get the IGP back from G-B,” Shah said, adding that his government would choose a suitable person from amongst the names forwarded to him for the post of IGP.

He said that when the IGP’s transfer orders were released without his consultation, he conveyed his reservations to the prime minister and asked if postings could be made without keeping the chief minister in the loop. “The prime minister said ‘no’,” he said.

On Tuesday, while hearing the Hajj corruption case, the Supreme Court ordered Asghar to rejoin the FIA within three days.

Asghar was investigating the Hajj corruption case before he was abruptly transferred and appointed as the police chief of G-B last year.

A three-judge bench directed Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Khushnood Lashari to suspend the notification of Asghar’s appointment as IGP for G-B if he failed to report back to the FIA headquarters by June 8.

Lashari told the court that the G-B chief minister was unwilling to release Asghar, citing poor law and order and rising sectarian violence in the region.

“If Hussain Asghar does not report back to the FIA headquarters, then the establishment secretary is bound to proceed against him not only violating his order but the direction of the apex court,” said Justice Chaudhry had said.

US delegation’s visit to Gilgit

Meanwhile, the chief minister confirmed that the government had received the programme of a US delegation that was on a five-day visit in Gilgit, recently.

However, he added that he did not feel it was important to meet the delegation.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2012.


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