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Arslan case probe lowered to SI level.

Islamabad -- Probe into Arslan Iftikhar-Malik Riaz case seems to be handed over to a sub-Inspector of Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) as against earlier investigations withdrawn from National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Initially, the Supreme Court had directed NAB to carry out inquiry into the case, but later one man commission led by Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Suddle was constituted with directions to all government functionaries to provide necessary assistance for timely completion of the report.

Commission was given one month's time for the completion of its report into reported allegations of bribery leveled by Malik Riaz against Arslan Iftikhar.

However, Wednesday, learnt here that Dr. Shoaib Suddle had sought services of two officials of FIA, one of lower rank, on temporary basis to investigate into the issue.

A letter written from Federal Tax Ombudsman Secretariat to Director General FIA disclosed the names of officers whose services had been sought were Muhammad Azam Khan, Director Law, FIA HQrs Islamabad and Imran Ali Sub-Inspector, FIA HQrs Islamabad.

The issuance authority of the said letter is Owais Pirzada Secretary Federal Tax Ombudsman. As per government services rules government departments in such cases of high public importance never specify name of any officers whose services are required to carry out investigations in any case. Most often services are also sought of officers who have experience and knowledge in the relevant field.

But, in this important case services of irrelevant officers had been sought as Director Law has no experience of investigations as well as names of both the officers are clearly identified in letter. Furthermore, second officer whose services have been sought is of low cadre and currently associated with Director Law, Muhammad Azam Khan, but a highly experienced officer is required to look carefully into such a sensitive case to avoid mistakes.

The nature requisition of officers made by Federal Tax Ombudsman to conduct inquiry into the case, reflects taking the case for granted approach of the concerned authority. It has given a public impression that concerned authorities were underplaying the case by carrying out inquiry into it by less experienced people or they want to influence the proceedings by pressurizing the investigators to get desired findings.

By seeking services of lower ranked officers, such an important case has been transferred to Sub-Inspector level officer to probe.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Sep 20, 2012
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