Pak court orders FIA to submit ‘Hajj scam’ report

Certain irregularities were committed during the appointment procedure of officials.

Updated: Nov 02, 2011, 22:05 PM IST

Islamabad: Senior Pakistan Civil Judge Mahmood Haroon has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to submit its investigation report on an ex-additional secretary of the Establishment Division in connection with the Hajj scam till November five.

According to the probe report, S.M. Tahir was a member of selection committee who appointed Rao Shakeel as Director General (DG) Hajj. Certain irregularities were committed during the appointment procedure, with the report saying that Tahir even went to the extent of instructing Shakeel to hire a costly building for the pilgrims, the Daily Times reports.

The FIA official informed the court about the statements of two additional secretaries and other officers, accusing Ismail Qureshi of suppressing information that Shakeel did not deserve to become DG because he had tampered with his age column in the unsigned curriculum vitae and was involved in corruption cases being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The court noted that the additional secretary, who had prepared the working paper for the special selection board that approved the appointment, had not mentioned the two disqualifications.

Tahir stated that Qureshi had asked him not to bring the information to the notice of the selection board.

The FIA also presented evidence that linked Tahir to Ahmed Faiz, another main accused in the Haj scandal. The investigators alleged that Faiz was working on Tahir and Hamid Saeed Kazmi directions, but Tahir had denied that he had any contact with Faiz, the middleman for hiring accommodation in Saudi Arabia, the paper said.

FIA informed the court that the Shakeel was in the custody of NAB Punjab and requested that he be produced in Islamabad for further investigations.