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Judicial commission to probe Pakistan’s graft official`s death

The Pakistan government formed a judicial commission to investigate the mysterious death of a senior anti-graft investigator.

Islamabad: The Pakistan government on Sunday formed a judicial commission to investigate the mysterious death of a senior anti-graft investigator who was probing corruption allegations Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Former Supreme Court judge Javed Iqbal will head the commission that will investigate the death of Kamran Faisal, an assistant director of the National Accountability Bureau.

Iqbal had earlier headed another judicial panel that investigated Osama bin Laden`s presence in Pakistan and the May 2011 US raid that killed the al Qaeda chief.

The commission was given two weeks to complete its investigation and submit its report to the government.

The government formed the commission amidst growing speculation about Faisal’s death.

The official was found hanging from a fan in his room in the Federal Lodges, a government hostel, on Friday.

A preliminary autopsy report concluded he had committed suicide but his relatives have cast doubt on the findings, saying his body bore several injuries.

Faisal was one of two investigation officers probing allegations of graft in "rental power projects" that were cleared when Raja Pervez Ashraf was the Power Minister.

The Supreme Court had directed NAB in March last year to take action against Ashraf and over 20 other suspects.

Last week, the apex court directed NAB to arrest Ashraf and the other suspects. NAB chief Fasih Bokhari told the court that he lacked evidence to make arrests.

Bokhari said investigators had not uncovered enough evidence against any of the suspects.

Faisal and the other investigation officer were recently suspended after they submitted a report on their probe to superiors.

Media reports said Faisal had been "under pressure" and had written to his superior last November, asking to be taken off the investigation into the power projects.

Officials of NAB held a series of meetings across the country today and decided to observe a strike on Monday, Geo News channel reported.

They also decided to seek an investigation by an independent judicial commission as they did not have any confidence in the police and the government.

The officials further decided to appear in the Supreme Court on January 23, when a bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will resume hearing the case related to the rental power projects.

Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal had earlier headed a commission comprising former military officials and diplomats that had probed bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan.

After missing several deadlines over the past year, the panel submitted its report to the government earlier this month. The government has not yet said whether the report will be made public.