Govt, judiciary lock horns again | Pakistan Today

Govt, judiciary lock horns again

ISLAMABAD – A government-judiciary row over the removal of FIA Director General Waseem Ahmed appears imminent, as the Establishment Division on Saturday submitted a report with the Supreme Court saying it could not remove the FIA director general.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has directed the Registrar’s Office to place the report before the six-member bench hearing the Haj scam case for the next week. The government has clearly told the Supreme Court through the Establishment Division that the FIA director general would not be removed, as he had already been separated from investigations into the cases related to the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) and the Haj scam to allay the concerns of the apex court.
The government took the stance that the FIA director general could not be immediately removed on ground of the national security. Though the Establishment Division’s report did not explain the grounds of “national security,” it stated that FIA officers investigating these cases would now submit their respective reports with the Supreme Court. The spiraling tension between the government and the judiciary clearly came in the open on Saturday when the FIA director general told reporters that he had been caught in a fight between the two pillars of the state – one wanting to retain him, while the other demanding his removal.
“I have been caught in the fight between the executive and judiciary … the executive wants me to continue while the judiciary wants me go home,” said Ahmad, who is in the middle of the controversy and has been the cause of contention between the executive and judiciary. Asked why he did not taken the initiative to resolve the issue amicably, the FIA director general said, “Yes, I have the option to resign.” However, he did not say he was considering the option to put an end to the standoff.
The Supreme Court had directed the government on March 1, 2011, to immediately remove Ahmed from the position of FIA DG for allegedly interfering in investigation into the Haj scam, despite restrictions placed on him by the apex court. The court had noted that it seemed quite evident that the investigations into the case were not being conducted independently in a transparent manner. The court said it could hardly be believed that an effective and impartial investigation could be conducted in the presence of the incumbent FIA director general.
When a six-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar, had noted that it was observed more than once that the FIA DG, who himself was holding this post on a contract basis, was responsible for not allowing the investigation of the case to proceed in a transparent manner, lawyer Hafeez Pirzada had informed the bench that the fate of the FIA DG would be decided within three days.
However, the report submitted by Establishment Division Secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry justified the continuation of Ahmed’s service on the ground of matters concerning national security.

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