After dodging the law for over eight months, the main character in a multi-billion-rupee scam, former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqeer Sadiq said on Saturday that he was ready to surrender to Interpol.
On Wednesday, sources in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said Sadiq had been arrested in Abu Dhabi with the help of Interpol. However, in a chat with The Express Tribune correspondents on social networking website Facebook, Sadiq denied his reported arrest.
“So far I am a free man. Interpol has not contacted me as yet,” Ogra’s former boss said. “I know my movement is being tracked.”
Sadiq claimed that he was being “set up” by a lobby which was annoyed with his sincere efforts to curb corruption in Ogra. He added that he was ready to defend himself in the Supreme Court.
“As chairman [Ogra], I disposed of cases in days that used to remain pending inquiry for years. I regularised the system and this certain lobby was not happy with that,” said Sadiq. “They (the lobby) is so big [and powerful], removing a chairman is not a problem for them,” he added.
“The OGRA chairman cannot be removed [from his office] before the completion of his four-year term unless a court orders,” said Sadiq, alleging that the Supreme Court bench hearing the case was biased against him.
Furthermore, he said the lobby was “misguiding” the court and ‘using’ it for their interests. Sadiq said he would pursue a reference filed in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the judges hearing the case. “Now that I have put everything before the people in my Skype interview with DIN TV, I am ready to face the court,” he said when asked why he had initially escaped.
Sadiq also alleged that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) harassed his wife and daughters and even his distant relatives. “That is why my family first left Islamabad and then left the country for Nepal last November,” he said, adding that NAB also “kidnapped and harassed” his brother-in-law and his 80-year-old father-in-law.
The Supreme Court ordered Sadiq’s arrest over two months ago. However, both Punjab police and NAB have failed to arrest him as of yet.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2013.