Submitting a written reply to notices issued to him by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team probing the Hajj scam, former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani contended that the notices were in violation of the constitution.
Gilani submitted the reply to FIA’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) Director Hussain Asghar on Sunday in response to the FIA’s notice, issued to him over the appointment of former director general Hajj Rao Shakil, alleging the former prime minister for receiving monetary benefits against the appointment.
The reply stated that any allegations of monetary benefits or impropriety in isolation against him “are an absolute impossibility”.
“The prime minister is the final authority in making hundreds of such appointments,” said the former premier in his reply. However, he said Shakil’s appointment was made on the summary received from the relevant ministry which contained input from several other departments.
He further said that any allegation of such kind should be based on evidence. “In absence of evidence, it would be highly irrelevant in law to furnish any reply to allegation in question.”
The former prime minister also expressed distrust over the head of FIA’s investigating team, Hussain Asghar’s impartiality in the case.
Asghar, reappointed as investigation officer in Hajj Scam case on the directions of Supreme Court recently, issued notice to Gilani, his son MNA Qadir Gilani and one of his friends and then principal secretary to former premier Gilani, Nargis Sethi.
The FIA director was earlier transferred as Inspector General of Police Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) after his investigations led him to prime minister’s secretariat in 2010. On reappointment, he issued fresh notices to the parties concerned.
Sethi in her reply told the investigation officer that she acted upon the then prime minister’s directions in appointing Rao Shakil as DG Hajj.
NA Privilege Committee
Meanwhile, Director General FIA Anwar Virk on Monday informed the Privilege committee of National Assembly that he was not cognizant on the issue of notices issued to Qadir Gilani as he recently took charge, sources said.
He sought time from the committee to collect relevant information on the alleged breach of privilege of MNA Qadir Gilani. Qadir last week alleged that the FIA was sending him notices on the matter that had already been clarified.
“The FIA was harassing an MNA which breached the privilege of the house,” Qadir said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2012.
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