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Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD:The Supreme Court bench on Thursday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file reference within a week against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and  Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Secretary General Jehangir Badar within a week, being responsible for the appointment of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority's (Ogra) former chairman Tauqir Sadiq and later providing him protection from arrest.

A two-member-bench of the apex court comprising of Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja resumed hearing the case pertaining to the implementation of the court's order to arrest the former Ogra chief.

During the hearing, NAB prosecutor informed the court that police had arrested Sadiq in the UAE  but he was later released.

The bench, expressing its outrage over the failure to arrest the former Ogra chief, ordered for a reference to be filed against all those who had helped Sadiq escape from the country.

A NAB official informed the court that the names of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Secretary General  Jehangir Badar were included in the list of peopleaccused of helping Sadiq flee from the country.

He added that a report for filing a reference was prepared and sent to Director General NAB for his signatures.

The court granted NAB with one week to submit the reference, adjourning the hearing until Jan 31.

The apex court had ordered NAB to conduct an investigation in cases of corruption against Tauqir Sadiq after declaring his appointment as the chairman of Ogra as illegal on Nov 25, 2011.

Rehman Malik refutes allegations

The Federal Ministry of Interior refuted the accusations of non-cooperation against  Interior Minister Rehman Malik  made by NAB as reported in a section of the press regarding case of Tauqeer Sadiq.

The allegations about non-cooperation of Minister for Interior, seen through tickers on different TV channels,are not based on facts.These allegation are totally baseless, motivated and a false propaganda, said the Spokesman of the ministry.

He said minister for Interior had earlier ordered inquiry into the fleeing of former chairman, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), Tauqeer Sadiq from Pakistan and director general, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was asked to submit a report in this regard.

As per official record, the minister had also ordered for placing his name on Exit Control List (ECL) on January 19, 2012 within 24 hours of submission of file to him.

He said there is no non-cooperation, whatsoever, by the minister for Interior with the NAB in this matter.

The Spokesman said there was no influence by Senator Jehangir Badar or anybody else on the minister.

He said the FIA inquiry revealed that Tauqeer Sadiq did not leave Pakistan through authorized routes. The FIA took the cognisance and tried to trace him in Dubai where he was arrested with help of Dubai authorities.

Minister for Interior had also directed FIA to inquire through Interpol, Dubai as to why he (Tauqeer) was released when request for his deportation or extradition was made to United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities.

He said Minister for Interior fully cooperated with NAB and Tauqeer Sadiq is still on ECL.

The Minister for Interior reserved the right to sue those involved in dis-information against him and FIA, he concluded.