The son also rises

Published: June 15, 2012
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When former president General Pervez Musharraf decided to embark upon his politically suicidal path in March 2007, the first step was the production of a reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — a fatal move. The first item of the reference concerned the CJP’s son, Arsalan Iftikhar, a doctor, who since then has now come somewhat full circle.

Justice Chaudhry was charged with having influenced the upward mobility of his son’s career. In 1996, the son of a judge of the Balochistan High Court managed a ‘C’ grade in his intermediate examination. This being insufficient for him to gain admission to the Bolan Medical College, Quetta, the judge allegedly approached the Balochistan chief minister with the request that the son be admitted to the college, regardless of his grade and given a special or vacant seat. Apparently this was done.

Nine years later, in June 2005 (his father, by then on the Bench of the Supreme Court), the young doctor was appointed as a medical officer in Quetta’s Institute of Public Health. In July, a short time following this appointment (by this time Justice Chaudhry was chief justice of Pakistan) the Balochistan chief minister again allegedly came to the aid of Arsalan Iftikhar, ordering his promotion as a section officer in the health department.

According to the reference, in that same year, August 2005, the young man decided to redirect his career. A letter was sent by the interior ministry to the Balochistan chief secretary informing him that the FIA wished to acquire the services of Dr Iftikhar. By September 2005, the doctor had a job as an assistant director in the FIA. This was followed up in April 2006 by his promotion to the position of deputy director.

Then, Arsalan, as claimed the reference, decided he would prefer a career in the police service. So, the ministry of the interior acted again, allowing him to bypass the necessary competitive services examination and the commandant of the National Police Academy was instructed to take him and put him through a course of field training, usually exclusive to Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers, after which, he was scheduled to move over to the Punjab Police.

But it was not that simple. For the doctor to be admitted as a permanent employee of the PSP, an amendment would have to be made in the Police Service of Pakistan Rules, which required presidential assent, the reference alleged. The prime minister’s secretariat was requested to do the needful but apparently the desired amendment did not materialise. The reference claimed further that in October 2006, he was nominated as a non-PSP officer to attend a training course in Istanbul, interestingly enough on the subject of Combating International Terrorism and Organised crime, the only non-PSP and sole under training individual to do the course.

Well, if our press and Dr Iftikhar are to be believed, the young man has moved on considerably and is now involved in business. He has also done quite a bit of travelling — regularly to Europe, London and Monaco, that we know of. It would seem that he is either naïve or forgetful when it comes down to brass tacks. In his statement dated June 6, made in the Supreme Court, referring to his 2011 visit to London, he stated: “I do not know from whose credit card the rent of the flat, which I remotely remember was around 3,200 pounds sterling per week, was paid. Perhaps I stayed for four weeks…”

All highly unfortunate — a bit of a thorn in the flesh would one not say? The country and his father could well have done without the innuendos and conjecture now being bandied — or with the flashes of truth.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Jun 16, 2012 - 12:22AM

    this is what we the people of Balochistan know, but who will tell the entire saga to media & people who still have hope in CJ but not in supreme court as an institution. a wonderful discourse that has to some extent been a curtain raiser.

    Recommend

  • Rimal
    Jun 16, 2012 - 12:29AM

    After reading this, I will support CJ and SC more.
    Please next time, do write about Malik Riaz too. Whatever he had done in 20 years.

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 16, 2012 - 12:57AM

    Its good of you to state the facts. On a different note if Arslan Iftikhar, Moosa Gillani and Moonis Elahi all had been born girls, my gut tell me all this nonsense would not have come to pass. There’s a lesson to be learnt here somewhere.

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  • Ejaaz
    Jun 16, 2012 - 1:49AM

    And of course the Chief Justice with his highly tuned judgement never asked his son or his wife where the hll was paying for all these fancy trips to Europe at lacs of rupees per week and where the hll was the billion rupees business has come from in just four years?

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  • John B
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:06AM

    He is a genius and deserves to be recruited at any cost!

    £3200 / week rental for a flat is only fit for menial public servants. He should be housed in Ritz Carlton suite.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:13AM

    I have been a critic of your writings but this is right on target. There should be no favors and no sacred cows. A third grade student becomes doctor and police official, world traveler (places of gambling and nightlife!) and owner of a 900 million empire while a police official! Yet the father and son duo don’t know each other and their supporters give the example of Hazrat Omar RA. If any other would have equated the two it would be blasphemy. By taking swift action the CJ made sure that only the travel part of Arsalan should be questioned not his empire and cash transfers. Who can challenge the SC decision in the future on these points?
    What would be the reaction of rightwing if the PM or president’s sons had this kind of meteoric rise?

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  • AS
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:17AM

    Thank you for this.

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  • Shock Horror
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:23AM

    Amina Sahiba

    Whatever the nature of actions/ crimes allegedly committed by Arsalan Iftikhar, you can bet your last rupee that no harm will come to him. Daddy’s friends, if not Daddy, will see to that. Nothing has happened to the children of the Chaudhary family, Gilani family, Sharif family and so on. This is the nature of the situation and environment in Pakistan. It is a real shame.

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  • ayesh_khan
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:51AM

    @Rimal: “After reading this, I will support CJ and SC more.
    Please next time, do write about Malik Riaz too. Whatever he had done in 20 years.

    This issue has nothing to do wih Malik Riaz. Simply to do with CJ providing undue support to his son.

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  • lancersboy
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Could you do some reflection on grades and qualifications of the big guns in Pakistan today,Baluchistani students normally get such waivers because of what have we collectively done to this wonderful province,Arsalsn Iftikhar was no xeption. We live in 21st century Pakistan,where it may be difficult to find angels,so the best of human material may not be perfect to fit in the shoes of high morality.. I would still support CJ, there is no other hope in this jungle where other options are hyennas and vultures.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jun 16, 2012 - 5:36AM

    Somewhere Mahatma Gandhi said ” God created the world and retired. Before retirement he gave only one law to Man. You will reap as you sow” I would add “in this life itself”.

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  • Babloo
    Jun 16, 2012 - 6:12AM

    The facts of Mr Arsalan’s admission and promotion, prove beyond doubt that the chief justice has indulged in gross acts of nepotism.
    Is there a single honest man, in a position of power, in Pakistan ?

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 16, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @lancersboy:
    There has been news that the CJ himself availed Balochistan quota for his job. He also arranged the same for his son. The Baloch who are kept backward are represented by other nationalities even in their own province. Your last statement tells the state of affairs in Pakistan. No one person from the top can change the plight of the people unless they themselves do it.
    Regards,
    Mirza

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  • Zalim Singh
    Jun 16, 2012 - 8:01AM

    and why not?

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  • Truth_Prevails
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:46AM

    @Amina jilani: whatever may be the truth in all of your analysis but you simply cannot take away what CJ has done for the country and what he will continue to do. As a minimum he has converted SC into an institution.

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  • Liberal
    Jun 16, 2012 - 9:48AM

    I believe every word you have written. You have also broken my heart. We had so much faith in the CJ.

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  • toticalling
    Jun 16, 2012 - 11:44AM

    whatever happened to Ms Jilani. She has not written anything against democratic leaders in this piece. Is it because Musharaf was also against CJ? just wondering

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  • Jamal Agha
    Jun 16, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Very well written ! thank you for saying the truth~.Recommend

  • Jun 16, 2012 - 12:16PM

    I think this writeup is an eye opener! I have always been thinking on this, it seemed to me that we have made Chaudhry Iftikhar (the person) as the supreme judiciary institution. Whenever I used to discuss this among my circle of friends thay would not agree with me. Feel this is another chance given to us by God to straighten our paths.

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  • Wazir
    Jun 16, 2012 - 1:04PM

    Thank you for this, mohtaram Jilani sb.

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  • Abid
    Jun 16, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Madam

    All above you wrote is rubbish. I am a small Engineer in Saudi Arabia. I have two sond who got “C” Grade in HSC. Both of them got Grade ” A” B.E. and MS engineering degrees from top univerties in UK. Both of them are working for worlds best engineering companies in UK.

    Everyone makes his own way in life. Pls leave the country to be rectified by people like CJ.

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  • Jun 16, 2012 - 1:33PM

    So we should assume a new reference against CJ is in the offing. This time it will be the “Democracy’s Revenge” doing it instead of the Dictator.
    But its interesting to see the coincidence: both the dictator and the so-called intellectuals using the same logic and arguments against CJ.

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  • imad
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:12PM

    @lancersboy: Do you know where is Balochistan Medical College? Baloch students get such waivers outside Balochistan not inside where all students are Baloch.

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  • Arifq
    Jun 16, 2012 - 2:36PM

    Well said madam, we need more diversity of ideas and less of these populist monologues.

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  • observer
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:22PM

    @Amina Jilani

    The country and his father could well have done without the innuendos and conjecture now being bandied — or with the flashes of truth.

    Why should the country or the ever so upright CJ do without the ‘flashes of truth’. The truth only shall redeem you and set you free.
    Let the flashes turn into full revelation.

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  • kashif saif dhillon
    Jun 16, 2012 - 3:45PM

    the aforementioned narrative is a perfect example of fabrication incorporated with baseless arguments if it was reality then CJP would have been removed from the current portfolio and now the current blame game is also in the court let the court decide the matter we have firm believe on the partiality of the judges

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  • sars
    Jun 16, 2012 - 5:00PM

    The CJ is definitely not the first powerful man to have a duffer for a son. He has mentioned that his son is a grown man and responsible for his own affairs. ….Umm not quite.
    If he was responsible for his own affairs he would have found another career after he got a C grade in intermediate.His story since then has consisted of benefiting from nepotism, misuse of authority and recieving bailouts from people in high places.
    I wonder where he got the idea he could do whatever misdeeds and would be allowed to go scot free?
    No wonder the younger generation of all the politicos are completely corrupt and morally bankrupt and yet believe they deserve all they can get.Recommend

  • choptocut
    Jun 16, 2012 - 5:13PM

    very eye opening account…we need awareness of dodgy media

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  • Aamir Saeed
    Jun 16, 2012 - 6:04PM

    The same old saga of Musharraf regime. What’s new in it and what ‘the father’ has got to do with it? So-called liberals are out just to malign the judiciary and tarnish image of the CJ.

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  • Jeffmahagaonvi
    Jun 16, 2012 - 8:20PM

    After reading your well informative article, I think Musharraf allegations were
    correct.
    True Pakistani

    Recommend

  • Hassan Hakeem
    Jun 17, 2012 - 2:47AM

    By the the way how did Rehman Malik ended up as Additional Director General of FIA when he started service in a department of Ministry of Commerce.

    Recommend

  • cheema
    Jun 17, 2012 - 5:46AM

    @Rimal

    “After reading this, I will support CJ and SC more.
    Please next time, do write about Malik Riaz too. Whatever he had done in 20 years.”

    NO wonder we are in this hole as a nation

    Recommend

  • Aslam Choudry
    Jun 17, 2012 - 5:48AM

    @Abid

    Are they also worth 900 Million within the span of three years. Can you please share that secret I am in need. :)

    Recommend

  • fawad
    Jun 17, 2012 - 12:02PM

    The important question today is do we have the right people who can change this in the future . Certainly I believe supreme court has shown lot of courage in correcting this situation for the future.

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  • ashar
    Jun 17, 2012 - 12:31PM

    Your article is true however this is not going to do any harm to CJ what most of the people are anticipating. He has done well with this matter and he should not be implicated in his son’s actions.

    Recommend

  • Mr T
    Jun 17, 2012 - 12:52PM

    @Babloo:
    There are more chances of having an honest man in Pakistan than corruption soaked India.

    Recommend

  • Dr. Farhan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:59PM

    @lancersboy:
    If grade wavers are being given then even it is on the basis of merit. I mean, if some one will not qualify for a specific merit then he or she might not get the admission in college. Still, the matter is clear that if special seat is allocated then I regret to inform you that these doctors are not technically doctor. He belongs to Quetta district and it is the district where medical college seat could not be secured without more than 75% marks in FSc. Fortunately, this ugly special seat system has been stopped for last 12-13 years otherwise, caretaker PM Jatooe gave hundreds of special seats during just his 3 months of PMship. It is murder of merit and we have achieved this status in the world by regularly practicing this behavior.

    Recommend

  • Sultan Khan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @Abid:
    So a good rule is established. Discard all the A and A plus students and give admissions only to ‘C’ graders because it is only they who shall be capturing ‘A’ grades from top universities of UK and shall become brilliant stars like baby chaudhri.

    Recommend

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