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was subsequently withdrawn.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