Pak PM Gilani`s son summoned in Haj scam probe

Abdul Qadir Gilani is accused of receiving Rs 20mn as kickbacks in the multi-million-rupee scandal.

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011, 16:05 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistani investigators have
formally summoned Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s son
Abdul Qadir to record his statement in connection with a probe
into alleged corruption in the hiring of accommodation for Haj
pilgrims.

The summons was issued to Abdul Qadir Gilani after he
failed to appear before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)
yesterday to record his statement regarding the scam.

Hours after the notice was issued by the FIA
yesterday, the head of the investigation team, Director
Hussain Asghar, was removed from the panel.

FIA chief Waseem Ahmed told The Express Tribune
newspaper that a notice had been issued to Qadir Gilani
"asking him to appear before the Joint Investigation Team
constituted for the Haj scam".

The daily quoted its sources as saying that Abdul
Qadir has been threatened with possible arrest.

The FIA will seek a "perpetual arrest warrant" for
him if he fails to appear for questioning.

A warning from the FIA`s legal directorate was
attached to the notice summoning Abdul Qadir for
interrogation, the report said.

The premier`s son has been accused of receiving Rs
20 million as kickbacks in the multi-million-rupee scandal
that has already cost two federal ministers their jobs.

Former Religious Affairs Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi
is currently free on interim bail after a court in Islamabad
issued a warrant for his arrest.

The FIA summoned Abdul Qadir to record his statement
in line with an order issued recently by the Supreme Court,
which is hearing a suo motu case on the Haj scam.

Abdul Qadir was to appear before the investigation
team yesterday but did not show up.

The notice is accompanied by a questionnaire
consisting of about a dozen queries.

The Express Tribune reported that these questions
included: "Did you receive a `lion`s share` of the money
embezzled during arrangements made for the annual pilgrimage?

Did you import a black Toyota Prado Land Cruiser and pay Rs
8.5 million as import duty with this money? Did former
Director General Hajj Rao Shakil Ahmad give you this money for
the import of this bulletproof vehicle? Did you pressurise
Hamid Saeed Kazmi to get special quota for pilgrims last
year?"

Zain Sukhera, a close friend of Abdul Qadir who has
also been linked to the scam, yesterday resigned from his post
of consultant with the Information Technology Ministry.

Sukhera has been accused of obtaining a fake LLM
degree, on the basis of which he was appointed to the post.

PTI