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Wednesday, 6 July 2011


LAHORE: Zafar Qureshi, the suspended Additional Director General of Federal Investigation Agency, believes that elements other than those involved in the Moonis Elahi case are equally responsible for his latest predicament.

“Federal Commerce Minister Amin Fahim, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and a son of an influential person are other people responsible for the suspension,” a source in FIA quoted Mr Qureshi as saying.

“Mr.Fahim and others fear that I may unearth their ‘share’ in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam while Mr Malik pressurised me to follow his instructions in future investigations,” the former ADG was quoted as saying by the source.Mr Qureshi was reinstated in the FIA after the Supreme Court suspended on July 1 the notification of his transfer to the National Police Foundation.

After assuming the office on Saturday, Mr Qureshi wrote a letter to FIA Director General Tahseen Anwar Shah, asking him to restore deputy director Javed Shah, assistant directors Mohammad Ahmed and Khalid Anees and inspector Mohammad Sarwar (transferred to DI Khan, Turbat, Peshawar and Gwadar, respectively) – to their previous place of posting (Lahore) as they had assisted him in the NICL probe.

The letter said: “The transfer of the officials in question is tantamount to violation of the Supreme Court orders. It shows mala fide intention and aims at creating hurdles in the investigation of the scam.”A copy of the letter was also dispatched to the Supreme Court registrar.

The establishment division on Sunday issued a letter to Mr Qureshi asking him to explain his position for “releasing the letter’s content to media and talking to it over the issue”. Following Mr Qureshi’s ‘unsatisfactory’ reply, the interior ministry suspended him on Monday under Rule 9 of the Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1973.An FIA official told that names other than that of Moonis Elahi had also surfaced during the investigation of the scam. “No investigator other than Mr Qureshi could lay hand on them after gathering concrete evidence,” he said.

There are reports that Mr Fahim had conveyed his ‘anger’ to President Asif Zardari over the reinstatement of Mr Qureshi and demanded his immediate removal. After that, Rehman Malik summoned Mr.Zafar Qureshi to Islamabad and warned him not to create any further trouble for the government. Mr Qureshi, however, reportedly refused to ‘oblige’ his boss. “The government then had no other option but to suspend him,” the FIA official said. The PML-Q circles are of the view that since Mr.Qureshi had done all the ‘damage’ that he could in the Moonis case, he was no longer a threat to him (Moonis).

“Qureshi had interrogated Moonis for 14 days in the FIA custody and submitted a challan of his will in the banking court. Now all the witnesses have testified and an acquittal application has been filed in court. What can he do now? Will Qureshi dictate the court to give a verdict against Moonis?” a senior PML-Q leader said. “People in the PPP have sent Qureshi packing to pre-empt his future ‘moves’,” he said.

According to the FIRs registered with Lahore office, Mohsin Habib Warraich’s company, Messrs Privilege, purchased 803 kanals from the NICL at Mauza Toor, Lahore, for Rs1.68 billion in February last year. The company allegedly sold the land without getting the property mutated in its favour.

In another case, the NICL sold the land measuring 20 kanal at Lahore Airport Road to Mohsin Warraich for Rs1.7 billion. It sold the land at the rate of Rs53 million per kanal although its market value was much higher, causing a loss of Rs915 million to the exchequer.

The FIA has arrested 13 people, including former NICL chairman Ayaz Khan Niazi. Three other accused Mohsin Habib Warraich, Amin Qasim Dada and Javed Syed are at large. An amount of Rs:420 million is yet to be recovered from the accused and ‘suspects’.

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