Following the Supreme Court ruling to investigate the alleged payments made by property tycoon Malik Riaz to the chief justice of Pakistan’s son, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP)’s office has constituted a three-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which will probe the entire saga, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.
According to sources, the JIT consists of the Inspector General of Islamabad Police, as well as directors from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The members and mandate of the JIT has been suggested and finalised by the PPP-led coalition government – and the details were sent to the AGP’s office on Monday night for a notification to be issued.
Sources told The Express Tribune that AGP Irfan Qadir would, in coming days, issue the notification – which could come as early as Tuesday (today). The AGP will monitor the JIT and later submit the findings to the court.
Former chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz had accused Dr Arsalan of financial impropriety, claiming that he had taken bribes from him and promised to have his cases pending in court settled amicably.
The Supreme Court on June 14 had directed the AGP to proceed according to the law and take required action against business tycoon Malik Riaz, his son-in-law Salman and the chief justice’s son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar.
According to sources, the JIT has been mandated to investigate the following: the wife of the chief justice, his son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar, his “pir” (mentor) Hakeem Abdul Wahab, Malik Riaz and his son-in-law Salman Ali Khan. Besides these two families, JIT would investigate businessman Ahmad Khalil, alleged to be the go-between, and renowned lawyer Hamid Khan.
According to sources, Hakim Wahab is suspected to be a partner of Dr Arsalan.
According to sources, Riaz had claimed that the bribes were given primarily for two cases – both of which would be investigated in close detail. The JIT, said sources, would investigate Riaz’s allegation that he was asked to hire Hamid Khan for these two cases.
One case pertained to the car race accident, which took place in December 2010, as a result of which five persons were killed. Riaz’s son, Ali Riaz, faced murder charges. The second case is said to be the one pertaining to the murder of a Bahria Town guard Fayyaz Ahmad.
AGP Irfan Qadir, while talking with The Express Tribune, confirmed the formation of the JIT. He promised that everything in this matter would be unveiled.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.