Probe ordered against Pak FIA chief in insurance scandal
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 23:17
  
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered a probe into allegations that the chief of the country's top investigative agency had provided protection to an accused involved in a major insurance scandal.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ordered authorities to conduct an investigation to ascertain whether Federal Investigation Agency (FIA chief Waseem Ahmed had allegedly provided protection to an accused in a scandal involving the National Insurance Corporation (NIC).

The top court issued the direction while hearing a suo motu case on alleged corruption in the NIC involving over Rs 5 billion.

The order was issued after an FIA official told the court that Ahmed was protecting Qasim Dada, a member of the Corporation’s board of directors and an accused in the case.

FIA Director Moazzam Jah told the bench that officials could not arrest Dada during a raid as Ahmed was with him.

The court initially ordered the arrest of Ahmed but an investigation officer informed the bench that the matter had occurred before the case was registered. The court then directed officials to conduct an investigation against the FIA chief.

The bench also said a case should be registered against Ahmed if it was proved he was guilty of protecting an accused.

The apex court was informed that Muhammad Malick, who was arrested in connection with the corruption scandal, had told investigators that he had allegedly given Rs 220 million to Moonis Elahi, the son of former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

Interior Secretary Chaudhry Qamar Zaman told the court that FIA official Zafar Qureshi has been assigned to investigate the scam. The Chief Justice had earlier expressed annoyance over the transfer of Qureshi, who has been supervising the probe since the last year. The transfer order was subsequently withdrawn.

The bench adjourned the matter till February 1.

The case relates to the alleged violation of rules by former NIC chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi in the procurement of land purchase case against nicl head 11 others at highly inflated rates, thus causing huge losses to the national exchequer.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 23:17


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