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ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: The capital police seems reluctant to assist the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission in arresting a sitting senator for her alleged involvement in corruption of millions of rupees.

Officials in the police and the commission told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that the senator was affiliated with the Awami National Party (ANP) and residing in the Parliament Lodges.

“A three-member team of the commissions met senior officers at the Central Police Office on Tuesday to seek help in her arrest.”

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) issued warrants for the arrest of Senator Sitara Ayaz, for allegedly misusing her position during her tenure as a provincial minister in the previous government.

Sources said that KPEC Director General Hamid Khan had issued the warrants a few days ago. A commission official told Dawn that the warrants had also been sent to the KP provincial police officer and the Islamabad inspector general, requesting them to assist with her arrest her.

Inspector General of Police Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan told Dawn that a team from the KP commission had visited his office. However, senior police officers told the team that permission of the Senate chairman was required for the arrest of the lawmaker.

The IGP told Dawn that the Senate chairman had been approached to seek permission for the arrest of the lawmaker.

However, the KPEC official said that under the Senate Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, the Senate chairman would be informed after her arrest.

The team was also informed that warrants should have to be issued for the arrest of the senator from a court and addressed to the station house officer (SHO) as defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure. But in this case, the warrants had been issued by the commission and addressed to the IGP.

The team was also told that the police cannot carry out a raid at the Parliament Lodges without the permission of the Senate chairman.

The police officers also asked the team to arrest the senator from her native town or from the jurisdiction of KP. However, the team said the accused had been staying in the capital since long and did not visit KP.

Besides, she also avoided coming out of the Parliament Lodges, they added.

On Thursday, the IGP sent a letter to the Senate chairman seeking permission to arrest the senator. The reply from the chairman is awaited, the officials said.

The arrest warrant was issued by the director general KP Ehtesab Commission, retired Lt-Gen Mohammad Hamid Khan.

The warrant said: “Whereas Sitara Ayaz, being a public officeholder as a minister for social welfare women empowerment and special education KP, involved in the offences of corruption and corrupt practice as defined under section publishable of the Ehtesab Commission Act 2014 by misusing her authority and thereby caused huge loss to the government exchequer.

“I, therefore, in exercise of power conferred upon me under the Act, direct to arrest her.”

If arrested, Senator Sitara Ayaz, would be the first woman and the first ANP leader to be arrested by the KPEC. The KPEC has so far arrested PTI MPA and ex-provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi, and ex-provincial minister Liaqat Shabab, who was also PPP’s provincial information secretary.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2015

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