FIA DG in the soup for protecting NICL suspect | Pakistan Today

FIA DG in the soup for protecting NICL suspect

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered an investigation against Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Waseem Ahmed for being allegedly involved in providing protection to Amin Qasim Dada, the main accused in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam.
A four-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, was hearing a suo motu case against alleged corruption of over Rs 5 billion in NICL affairs. The court ordered investigation against Ahmed after another FIA official made a statement in the court that Ahmed was protecting Dada, the main accused in the NICL scam.
The court observed that Ahmed was the person mainly responsible for the scam. “No one is above the law and the recovery of plundered national wealth must be ensured,” the chief justice said. During the hearing, FIA Sindh Director Moazzam Jah told the court that he could not arrest Dada, as whenever he raided, Ahmed was with him.
The court then ordered the immediate arrest of Ahmed, but the investigation officer informed the court that the matter was prior to the registration of the case. The court, then ordered investigation against Ahmed. FIA’s Director Zafar Ahmed Qureshi, who has been reassigned the task of probing into the scam, told the court that of the 15 accused, 13 had been arrested except Amin Qasim Dada and one other accused.
The court directed Qureshi to record the statement of Moazzam Jah and register a case against Ahmed if proven guilty of protecting an accused. When asked why he was not treating all the accused persons at par because one of the Directors of NICL, Amin Qasim Dada, had not been arrested, Qureshi said that he had not been allowed to do so despite his best efforts.
To a court query, FIA Karachi Director Mozzam Jah said four to five days before the registration of the case, Dada was present with the FIA DG. “The DG is equally responsible for not arresting Dada. It seems that instead of allowing his director to make progress in the case, he was providing shelter to the accused,” the court noted.
The court directed Qureshi to take all necessary steps for arresting Dada and if he discovered that the accused was being provided cover by Ahmed, he should proceed against Ahmed too in accordance with the law. Qureshi explained that all efforts will be made to find out how government’s money was taken out of NICL accounts, where it was spent and in whose accounts the money was deposited.
Qureshi said when progress was being made in the case, he was transferred on orders by FIA DG Waseem Ahmed. The court expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by FIA Director Moazzam Jah, observing that no step had been taken by him to arrest the accused. The court noted that he also had not taken steps to recover the amount from the account of Ayaz Khan Niazi.
The court has given Moazzam Jah another chance to proceed with the matter strictly in accordance with the law and submit report on the next date of hearing. Meanwhile, sources told Pakistan Today that the Interior Ministry is likely to put the names Waseem Ahmad and Moonis Elahi on the Exit Control List.
Sources said that after the SC’s order, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has asked Interior Secretary Chaudhry Qamaruz Zaman to conduct an inquiry regarding the allegations against FIA DG, who is currently abroad. “The minister has recommended that the name of Waseem Ahmad and Moonis Elahi be put on ECL after the FIA team probing the scam made a request in this regard,” a source said.
A senior government official hinted at the termination of the contract of the FIA DG after the initiation of a formal inquiry against him. Pakistan Today also learnt that the government is reluctant to put Moonis Elahi’s name on ECL because of political compulsions but the top bureaucracy in the FIA and Interior Ministry are against lending any favor to him as they are the ones who are facing humiliation in the SC on a daily basis.

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