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Nawaz says his party accepts FIA probe


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PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N headed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif sprang a surprise on Thursday by disowning a statement made by his party’s stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and agreeing to an investigation by the FIA into the dirty money the ISI used in 1990 elections. The probe had been ordered by the Supreme Court in its short order in the Asghar Khan case.

In an apparent damage control exercise following widespread criticism of Chaudhry Nisar’s statement that the PML-N had “reservations” over the SC decision to hand over investigations to the Federal Investigation Agency, Mr Nawaz Sharif told a TV talk show anchor on telephone that this was not the view of his party.

“There is no question of rejecting (the FIA probe) as it is the court order,” Mr Sharif said when asked to state categorically whether the FIA probe was acceptable to him.

Chaudhry Nisar had told reporters last week that his party wanted the investigation by an “independent commission” and not by the FIA.

“I say on behalf of my party in categorical terms that we accept the SC decision in letter and spirit and are ready to cooperate, but probe through the FIA is totally unacceptable,” he had declared.

Interestingly, the PML-N’s Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan was present at the news conference.

When contacted, PML-N’s Deputy Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said Chaudhry Nisar’s news conference was his “spontaneous act” and he had only “suggested an improvement” in the SC order by saying that an independent commission be formed to investigate allegations against politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, of having received money from the ISI prior to the 1990 elections.

Mr Iqbal, whose party was a part of the nine-party Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) which had been fully supported by the then military establishment in 1990 elections in a bid to defeat the Pakistan People’s Party, said it was after Chaudhry Nisar’s news conference that the party leadership had gone into a consultative session in Raiwind and decided to come out with a categorical announcement that it was ready to face the FIA.

Mr Iqbal said there was consensus within the party that it should accept the court’s verdict as a whole because any objection to any part of it would generally be seen as negation of the verdict by the PML-N and provide an opportunity to opponents to use it in their propaganda.

His reply was a “no”, when asked if the party still demanded formation of an independent inquiry commission. In an effort to give an impression that there were no two opinions within the party on the issue, Mr Iqbal claimed that Chaudhry Nisar had made no “formal demand” and “it was just his observation”.

In fact, he said, Chaudhry Nisar had drawn the attention to the “poor performance” of the FIA and the SC had expressed its reservations over it several times.

It may be recalled that the PML-N became a target of criticism from all sides, particularly from the PPP and the PTI, after it announced that it was not ready to face the FIA probe.

The government immediately rejected the PML-N’s demand to form a commission to hold an inquiry, and Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira asked the Sharif brothers to apologise to President Asif Ali Zardari and the nation for “robbing the PPP’s mandate in the 1990 elections”.

Mr Kaira said it was the Supreme Court and not the government which called for investigation through the FIA against the politicians who had received money from intelligence agencies in the 1990 elections.

Mr Kaira, who is also information secretary of the ruling PPP, had also expressed the hope that the Supreme Court would take notice of the PML-N’s announcement. He had also said that action against those involved in misusing public money would soon be initiated in accordance with the law and constitution.

Comments (6) Closed

Mansoor Sajid Oct 26, 2012 10:37am
A wise decision by Nawaz Sharif. I would strongly recommend to him that he should go ahead even to accept the charge of receiving the money (If he has factually received the money) and apologize from the nation. Leaders do make mistake and the best course of action is to accept the responsibility, which would add to their stature. Nawaz can even announce that he would not be contesting forthcoming election, however, would remain chief of his party and therefore a de facto power broker.
A A K Burni Oct 26, 2012 06:12am
Sharif brothers and other politicians must be asked whether they received such bribe or not then prove it on either sides. Our politicians should learn some ethics.
Amin Oct 26, 2012 05:51am
Wise of him because he knows that Mehran Bank dealing with Yunus Habib will not come under scrutiny. Here it is only 2.5 million which (if any supporting evidence is found by FIA) he will return.
Guest62 Oct 26, 2012 04:52am
This was an "about turn". The statements of Ch. Nisar does not need Mr Ahsan Iqbal to clarify its contents. In fact Ch. Nisar was very blunt in his rejection of the investigation by FIA as ordered by SCP. Knowingly or unknowingly, Ch Nisar is playing into the hands of Sharif brothers to do their dirty work as an up front talker (to judge the mood of the media, nation and PPP/other parties etc.). As soon as their is a negative impression or hue and cry raised , then Ahsan Iqbal steps in or Perviaz Rashid comes into play for trying to dilute the impact before either of the brothers jumps in to state the party policy which is always 180 degree opposite to what initially Ch.Nisar states. Javed Hashmi used to do this dirty work for them but he realized it and left them for good. Javed Hashmi was more blunt yesterday as he told the media, if he was in N-League, he would suggest to Mian Nawaz to quit the politics in the wake of the SCP judgement on the 1990 election scenario. The younger Mian wants to get the contract to clean up the politics (as if they themselves are the cleanest), what a pack of jokers we have as so called national leaders.
Mansoor Oct 26, 2012 03:11am
Your paper is totally negative towards Nawaz Sharif. With crooks, liars and thieves ruling the roost (you may add all other things which the Supreme Court stated about Rehman Malik). You still dont say that it is wrong that FIA should investigate. I dont know why the Supreme Court gave a decision like this when they have not had any satisfactory result from any organisation under this government so far. You Karachi people are totally biased and will answer to God for accepting this corrupt government.
ahmed Oct 26, 2012 05:32am
It's called free juidiciary and filterised politics where respect for institution and constitution is more important then just short time rosy picture. I wish Pr Zardari had the same respect for the SC and had sent letter to swiss banks with an unconditional opology to the nation. But unfortuntly some quarters of the PPP are still politicaly uncivilised and beheave like beast.