FIA files report on cleric in contempt case

Updated 15 Jul 2020

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The Supreme Court had on July 2 indicted the cleric for his derogatory and scandalous speech which went viral on social media. — AFP/File
The Supreme Court had on July 2 indicted the cleric for his derogatory and scandalous speech which went viral on social media. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A fresh report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) shed light on the life and history of Rawalpindi-based cleric Mirza Iftikharuddin who is facing contempt charges for his derogatory and scandalous speech against the judiciary.

According to the interim report submitted to the Supreme Court, Mirza Iftikhar received religious education in Iran. He did his BSc in 1972 from Chinab Naqar and ran Iqra School and College from 2010 to 2018, in addition to property business.

The Supreme Court had on July 2 indicted the cleric for his derogatory and scandalous speech which went viral on social media. The court had indicted him under Section 5 of the Contempt of the Court Ordinance 2003 after rejecting his unconditional apology he tendered for uttering the objectionable remarks in a private meeting.

The Iqra Welfare Organisation has been established by raising funds at home and abroad and it has a hostel for orphans, the FIA report said, adding that the cleric had travelled to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Syria for Umrah, Ziarat and educational purposes, besides having telephonic contacts with students, friends and relatives in Iran, Australia, the United States, England and Canada.

Due to uploading of intimidating contents on his social media (YouTube channel and Facebook pages) following the murder of General Sulemani of Iran, Facebook authorities had blocked all his live coverage. When live streaming of his Facebook account “Akbar Jani” was also blocked for a limited time, he created different accounts like Maarfat-i-Elahi and Deen Shahnas.

According to the report, 698 videos have been uploaded on social media. All videos are under scrutiny and forensic analysis will be made as and when any of them is found to be in violation of any law of Pakistan, it says.

The travel history of the cleric showed that he had been to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but travel trends were not unusual. The subscriber’s detail of mobile num­bers’ association with social media accounts on which the objectionable video was uploaded has been obtained along with CDRs. The analysis of CDR showed the cleric’s communication on NTC, PTCL and mobile phone numbers, besides internation­al calls to Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Zambia and England.

The FIA said the revenue authorities had been requested to provide the record of im­m­ovable properties of the cleric, and a reply was awaited. The Rawalpindi deputy commissioner has also been requested to provide information and record of the Iqra Welfare Organisation — a trust run by the cleric.

Similarly, the record of Iqra Public School and College has been obtained from the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Islamabad. The college record showed that a total of 532 students had passed matriculation and intermediate between 2010 and 2018.

The Federal Board of Revenue chairman has been requested to provide tax returns and wealth statements of the cleric. Moreover, after obtaining permission from the competent court of ATA, all banks have been requested to provide details of accounts of the cleric.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2020