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Ex-chief of Ogra to be deported soon: official

Former chairman Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority Tauqir Sadiq. — File photo by Online

ISLAMABAD, Feb 24: The government expressed the hope on Sunday that former chairman of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Tauqir Sadiq would be deported by the United Arab Emirates in the near future.

“An expeditious action is expected from the UAE foreign ministry in view of intense diplomatic communication and their meetings with Pakistani ambassador,” said an official statement.

It said Pakistan’s embassy in Abu Dhabi remained open during weekend holidays (Friday and Saturday) because of Tauqir Sadiq case.

The extradition file sent by the NAB authorities reached the cargo office at Abu Dhabi airport on Saturday evening and the embassy staff, without waiting for the courier company to deliver it next day, immediately rushed to the airport to collect the file directly from the cargo office to avoid delay.

The government apparently issued the statement after media reports alleged that the Pakistani embassy was not cooperating with the NAB team which is presently in Abu Dhabi to get custody of the former Ogra chief who is under detention in the central jail there.

“The NAB team was immediately contacted to reach the embassy and an embassy officer and the NAB team signed and attested the extradition file which was dispatched to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday morning,” the official press release said.

The embassy ensured that diplomatic documents were prepared instantly and submitted through diplomatic channel.

About the NAB’s complaint about non-cooperation, the embassy said in the official announcement: “The extradition process has legally and diplomatically commenced after the arrival of the file dispatched by the NAB. However, if the file had been brought by the NAB team along with them or it had reached prior to their arrival, a definite progress could have been shown by the UAE authorities by now.”

The NAB officials had claimed that Pakistani ambassador had invited them to his office to discuss the issue of Sadiq’s deportation on the directives of the Supreme Court, but when they visited there he refused to meet them and suggested that they should meet his deputy.

The bureau accused the embassy of not cooperating with it in brining back the accused to the country.

According to media reports, the embassy refused to entertain the NAB team on the grounds that deportation documents were unattested.

The Supreme Court had on Feb 11 directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government authorities and their subordinate divisions and offices whether in Pakistan or abroad to render full and prompt assistance to the NAB in pursuing the absconding accused (Tauqir Sadiq) and bringing him back to Pakistan.