Arrest warrants for former PM Gilani, Amin Fahim issued
A federal anti-corruption court here on Thursday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
The order against the former prime minister and the senior PPP leader was issued after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented a challan (charge sheet) with 12 new cases - relating to multi-billion rupee scandal in the Trade Development Authority (TDAP) - registered against the two before the court.
Cases against the two PPP leaders, some former and serving senior officials of the TDAP and others were registered by FIA for their alleged involvement in approving and disbursing fraudulent trade subsidies of billions of rupees to several fake companies through fictitious claims and backdated cheques.
Earlier last year, Gilani and Fahim were granted pre-arrest bail by the court in a dozen other pending cases, also related to the TDAP scandal. With the 12 new cases registered against the two PPP leaders by the FIA, the total cases registered against Gilani and Fahim in the TDAP scandal are 24. The court had previously issued notices to Gilani and Faheem, requiring them to appear before it in relation with the 12 news cases against them. However, the notices went ignored.
Approving the FIA challan during today's hearing, judge of the special federal anti-corruption court-I, Mohammad Azeem, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the arrest of Gilani and Fahim and directed the police to arrest the accused and present them before the court in the next hearing.
The action came a day after Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had directed the authorities to break the "evil nexus between terrorism, criminal mafias, violence and corruption" to achieve the objective of ensuring a peaceful and terror-free Karachi. On the other hand, an antiterrorism court (ATC) remanded Dr Asim for 90 days to Rangers custody.
The former federal minister was presented in ATC-III by the Rangers today who informed the court that Dr Asim has been placed under a 90-day preventive detention under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Court sources told Dawn that the Rangers contended that they have credible information regarding Dr Asim's involvement in terrorism related activities as well as embezzlement of funds. Therefore, ATC-III placed Dr Asim under a 90-day remand to Rangers custody for further inquiry.
A petition was filed in the Sindh High Court on Thursday challenging the arrest of Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and the chairman of the provincial Higher Education Commission (HEC). The petition was filed by Dr Asim's mother and Advocate Maulvi Iqbal Haider who contended that the former federal minister was an esteemed politician and his detention was unlawful as he did not have a criminal record.
Dr Asim's arrest came in what has been described as the first major action against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership during the ongoing Karachi operation. A close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, he was taken into custody on Wednesday. The petitioners have asked that the court order for Dr Asim to be released. The federal and Sindh governments, the National Acountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have been made party in the petition.
Meanwhile, Dr Zareen, Dr Asim's wife, wrote a letter to Inspector General Sindh that her husband suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and relies on medication. She asked for permission to be allowed to meet Dr Asim in order to monitor his condition.