Ar­rest war­rants for for­mer PM Gi­lani, Amin Fahim is­sued

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

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.

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