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Haj corruption case: former religious affairs minister acquitted by Islamabad High Court

Updated Mar 20, 2017 01:05pm

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday acquitted former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi in the Haj corruption case, DawnNews reported.

Former director general (DG) of Haj, Rao Shakeel, and former joint secretary religious affairs Aftabul Islam were also let off by the court.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, while hearing the case, accepted the accused's appeals and issued acquittal orders for Kazmi, Shakeel and Aftab.

Previously, Kazmi and Aftab had been sentenced to 16 years jail time each, while Rao Shakeel had been handed 40 years. The three convicts were also ordered to pay a penalty of Rs150 million each.

The Haj corruption scandal, which rocked the national political scene between 2010 and 2012, had led to the dismissal of both Kazmi and Azam Swati from the federal cabinet.

The minister and other religious affairs officials were accused of hiring a substandard building on exorbitant rent (for housing Pakistani pilgrims in Makkah) and receiving kickbacks in the process.

The former also spent nearly two years in prison over charges of irregularities in the 2009 Haj operation.

Kazmi was subsequently indicted on charges of corruption in the case on May 30, 2012, to which he pleaded not guilty.

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Comments (57) Closed



sherryaar Mar 20, 2017 12:22pm

that is justice for u in pakistan? it seems PPP and PML-N has done a deal.. u leave me and i will leave u !!

Riz Mar 20, 2017 12:25pm

Majority of people should decide instead of depressed courts.

Ali Rizvi Mar 20, 2017 12:27pm

Absolute mockery of the justice system!

Arshad Mar 20, 2017 12:26pm

Welldone NAWAZ SHARIF !

Khurram Sajjad khawaja Mar 20, 2017 12:27pm

this is sheer injustice....the hajis had to face tremendous problems due to these men at power....how can the court acquit them and absolve them of all wrong doings. May the CJP take notice of this!!!

m Riaz Khan Advocate Mar 20, 2017 12:24pm

Without punishment we don't make the better society of country. Must penalize to them how built wealth without justified work or process

on FLIP SIDE Mar 20, 2017 12:28pm

I'm baffled - don't know where to put my trust on! Crime has been committed - victims are there - but - culprit are not found or convicted!

Khawaja Mar 20, 2017 12:35pm

thank you PAKISTAN for gifting us with such a wonderful law makers

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 12:38pm

@on FLIP SIDE

How can the courts command respect when eventually all high profile cases are decided in favor of the accused?

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 12:44pm

It seems only the victims are at fault in Pakistan. They let people commit crime and cannot prove themselves to have been the victims under the law? The country has become criminal friendly.

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 12:46pm

@Khawaja

The law makers take care that they never get caught under the law they make. Clever of them, indeed.

Adnan Mar 20, 2017 12:48pm

Its just tailor! The complete film will be released soon... #Panama

AsadIqbal Mar 20, 2017 12:43pm

a slap on poor Pakistani people.

TN Mar 20, 2017 12:47pm

Now we can judge the result of Panama case ! Poor justice system - only for poors

Aamir Mar 20, 2017 12:44pm

Wow, after completed his disgrace from all fronts now he is acquitted with all respect.

asad Mar 20, 2017 12:50pm

@sherryaar pakistan is for rich people of PTI, PML-N and PPP.

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 12:53pm

So nobody was cheated. Nobody suffered. The accused, apart from going free, should be heavily compensated for having been accused of a charge which was eventually disproved. All the institutions involved in harassing the honorable ''ACCUSED'' must be penalized.

WHAT A COUNTRY!

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 12:49pm

@Adnan

Sure enough! You are darn right.

Syed Ahmed, canada Mar 20, 2017 12:49pm

There is no doubt about the Haj scandal. I did take place. If those acquitted were honest, how come their subordinate officials did massive corruption?

Faisal Mar 20, 2017 12:56pm

UN-touchables

Ijaz Khan Mar 20, 2017 12:54pm

Uttho Jago Pakistan.......

Ayub Mar 20, 2017 12:58pm

Absolute shame on our system of governance. A judge can't do anything unless the prosecutor and government of the day is absolutely fair and pursue the case on merit.The prosecutor failed in his duties on the instruction of the present government.This case must be studied in detail and included in the syllabus of law students.

Riaz Mar 20, 2017 01:00pm

Poor! Poor! legal system in Pakistan. I am baffled by the acquittal of all the culprits in the case. Lower court finds all liable for harsh punishment as high as 40 years in prison. Higher court finds them innocent and set them scott free. If any one is corrupt, it can be easily judged from standard of living. Clear example is Baluchistan Finance Secretary Mr.Raees. It seems deal has been reached between PMLN and PPP. You scratch my back and we scratch your back.

Justwasif Mar 20, 2017 01:01pm

Justice not served..

Ali UK Mar 20, 2017 01:03pm

This is hum sub ka, Jeevay Jeevay, Zindabad, Paindabad. Better in UK.

Zak Mar 20, 2017 01:06pm

Panama is justified logo.

sabeeh ahmad Mar 20, 2017 01:35pm

JUSTICE DONE!!! WOW!! BUT CANT BE SEEN

on FLIP SIDE Mar 20, 2017 01:38pm

@Make Pakistan Sir answer lies within your question!

Khan Mar 20, 2017 01:39pm

@Ali Rizvi Agreed

Dr Mar 20, 2017 01:47pm

Return of Zardari and Sharjeel Memon..Acquittal of Kazmi...Has some deal being done on Panama??? A new NRO???

Rahim Mar 20, 2017 01:45pm

God,,,Still remembered what suffered by our bro/sis that year. Then who did that,jinn?? Now who left to be held responsible?

Abdulla Hussain Mar 20, 2017 01:56pm

Salute to the judgement. Long live the corrupt elite of Pakistan.

IQBAL HADI ZAIDI Mar 20, 2017 01:59pm

All those who accused and prosecuted three must now be jailed instead for trapping the three innocent persons alike. I will go ahead proposing l'litmus test' and advise that the the same three persons must now also file FIR against all those who implicated them in corruption but in case they don't take it up means that they know it for sure that they are not clean. How can wrongly jailed be silent instead is my simple question to be answered by none but the three accused therein. Who opposes me and on n what grounds?

Abdul Majeed Mar 20, 2017 02:06pm

I was in that Hajj and the Pakistani Camp in front my camp in mina had nothing at all not even shade over them, no water no food. the people were mostly aged and asking from us for basic thing.

muhammad dar Mar 20, 2017 02:13pm

Only making comments do not help us to change our faith and future against these corrupts.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 20, 2017 02:19pm

What a silly joke?

AHA Mar 20, 2017 02:25pm

No wonder PML-N is #1 in corrupt parties of the world.

Ayub Mar 20, 2017 02:34pm

Shahbash IHC!

sabeeh ahmad Mar 20, 2017 03:23pm

As far a i remember not a single politician is behind bar for corruption charges... Does this mean that all our politician are "SADIQ AND AMIN"??? Or we people of Pakistan are fools to elect them???

M Akram Mar 20, 2017 03:36pm

Shameful and mockery of justice. PPP and PML-N theives are above the law. In this case my heart goes out to poor hajies who had been saving all their lives only to be fleeced by their own government minister and his mates.

MAS Mar 20, 2017 04:01pm

Another chapter of our shamefull history closed!

iffi Mar 20, 2017 04:01pm

Untouchables will remain untouchables ... :(

asif Mar 20, 2017 04:19pm

Really he is victim of power full lobby who could not digest kazmi presence in their domain

Shehz Mar 20, 2017 04:23pm

False accusations by Azam Swati. Charges and allegations by PTI have always been found to be without any proof or merit.

QurraTulain Mar 20, 2017 04:37pm

Alhamd o lillah an innocent man has finally been freed. Haters would hate and say things that would reflect how little they know about this person. Since Hamid saeed kazmi is personification of love...I would like to thank all who prayed for him. And those who didn't... good luck with your lives.

QurraTulain Mar 20, 2017 04:38pm

@IQBAL HADI ZAIDI kazmi sahab had already accused azam swati for false defamation. And would have won the case since there is no evidence of corruption against him...

Patriot Mar 20, 2017 05:21pm

Please acquit thousands of poor innocent who are falsely accused by police to save the skin of the influential, who spend life time in prison

M Akram Mar 20, 2017 05:23pm

@QurraTulain I hope and pray that this despicable man will get his due reward in this world and the next and other I hope will be unbearable heat.

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 06:05pm

@QurraTulain

In Pakistan, all criminals are innocent, particularly those with political background.

pathetic Mar 20, 2017 06:46pm

This is not fare. The man is guilty.

CITIZEN Mar 20, 2017 07:17pm

If all corruption cases being established against ministers are proved false in higher courts and they are being let go as innocent, then the departments who filed such cases should be penalised.

bader Mar 20, 2017 11:32pm

Great Justice!!! We expected the same speedy justice for these looters

Syed Ali Mar 20, 2017 11:52pm

All the the Hajis who complained and Saudi Prince who wrote letter should be made accountable for accusing the three great personalities @Make Pakistan great

Khan USA Mar 21, 2017 12:19am

This was expected !

Khan USA Mar 21, 2017 12:20am

Islamabad High Court is good for nothing !

Khan USA Mar 21, 2017 12:17am

Courts are there to acquit the culprits and not to provide the justice to the affectees !

Sahmad Mar 21, 2017 02:51am

@asad Partially agree with you. Let's remove PTI from your list for the time being as they were never in power in the center.