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Court seeks FIA report on Qadir’s complaint

January 11, 2013

The Supreme court of Pakistan.—Reuters (File Photo)

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed the Federal Investigation Agency on Friday to submit a report on a complaint moved by Abdul Qadir Gilani, son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Qadir Gilani, who is facing allegations of being involved in the 2010 Haj scandal, had sought a restraining order for FIA officer Hussain Asghar investigating the validity of his graduation degree.

Mr Asghar who is investigating the Haj scandal had claimed in a progress report submitted to the court that the bachelor’s degree of Qadir was doubtful and obtained fraudulently.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry directed the FIA officer to confine himself to the Haj scam case and the complaints, if any, against the petitioner should be looked into by other departments of the agency.

Qadir Gilani, who was elected member of the National Assembly on July 19 last year from NA-151 Multan, had accused Mr Asghar of exceeding his jurisdiction and acting without lawful authority by taking up the issue of educational degree, especially when he was neither nominated in the FIR registered in the Haj corruption case. Besides, he said, his name was never mentioned in the charge-sheet issued by the relevant court against former director general of Haj operations Rao Shakeel Ahmed.

Qadir Gilani won the election from the constituency which had fallen vacant after his father, the former prime minister, was disqualified by the Supreme Court in a contempt of court case on June 19 last year. Mr Asghar informed the court on Friday that documents provided by the customs department had confirmed the allegations levelled by PML-N MNA Imran Ahmed Shah that his close friend Zain Sukhaira had brought a 2008 model Land Cruiser worth Rs20 million on his way back to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia.

The bullet-proof luxury vehicle was allegedly given to Qadir Gilani as a gift by Rao Shakeel Ahmed, the main accused in the Haj scandal, through Sukhaira.

Senior counsel Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, representing Qadir Gilani, denied the allegations and accused Mr Asghar of spoiling the case. The bullet-proof car, he said, had been legally imported from Dubai in 2009 after paying all taxes and duties. He said Zain Sukhaira had no role in the import of the car and that the court had initiated the Haj scandal case in 2010.

In his petition, Qadir Gilani alleged that bias and partiality of the FIA officer against him was apparent from the fact that he had embarked upon the course of discrediting and maligning a member of the National Assembly by venturing into investigating the validity of his graduation degree.

He contended that an impartial investigation could not be expected from the FIA officer and recalled that Mr Asghar had been suspended and transferred out of Islamabad by the former prime minister.

The case will be taken up on January 16.