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Swati misused authority over IGP transfer: JIT.

Byline: Syed Sabeehul Hussnain

ISLAMABAD -- On the Joint Investigation Team's report on Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Azam Swati's role in transfer of Islamabad police chief, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday directed the minister to submit his reply on the report considering Article 62(1)(f).

The 5 volumes JIT report was de-sealed before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar which resumed the hearing of the suo motu case regarding transfer of Islamabad's Inspector General of Police on political influence of Swati in the backdrop of scuffle with his underprivileged neighbours.

The JIT, headed by National Accountability Bureau Rawalpindi Director General Irfan Naeem Mangi, opined that Swati misused his authority and was given special treatment by the relevant authorities while the private citizens, the neighbours, were treated discriminatorily.

The JIT, probing the alleged illegal transfer of former IGP after he did not attend Swati's phone call, in its findings also stated that the statements of Swati's family and his servants about the cow grazing incident which sparked the scuffle were false and concocted.

'After considering the oral and documentary evidence available on record so far, JIT revealed that the stated position of the Swati family and his servants regarding cow grazing has no basis whatsoever and thus found it to be false, concocted, fabricated, inconsistent and factually incorrect.

Moreover, Senator Minister Muhammad Azam Khan Swati was given a special treatment by the relevant authorities, the JIT report stated.

'Moreover, by virtue of his post, he wielded his influence and prevailed upon the authorities by misusing his office and profile leading to arbitrary and discriminatory treatment to the private citizens i.e. Miaz Muhammad Family, at the hands of police,' the chief justice read out the report conclusion in the court.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar expressed anger on the conduct of Swati and questioned the latter's candidacy and directed the counsel for Swati to submit reply in view of Article 62(1)(f).

'We don't recognise anybody as minister,' said the chief justice. He also barred the affected family from any kind of settlement with Swati's family. He remarked that these poor people have been silenced by using influence.

He then summoned the affected family to the rostrum and told them that this court is fighting for their honour, adding no reconciliation will be allowed. 'There is no forgiveness for the influential,' the CJP further observed.

Swati's counsel Barrister Ali Zafar appeared before the bench and contended that the JIT's report is one sided and that he would file the reply on it.

He further informed the bench that his client was abroad attending an International Atomic Energy Agency Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology. He sought time for filing the reply as he could not submit the reply without the instructions of his client.

The chief justice granted time to the counsel for submission of reply till Tuesday.

In JIT report it transpired that the adjoining area where allegedly cow grazed is part of land of Capital Development Authority's Orchard Scheme and Swati family had no concern whatsoever with the said land.

'Hence, it also tantamount and implies the admission on part of the Swati family about the illegal occupation on CDA land,' the report observed.

'Despite the fact that all relevant police authorities were activated upon receipt of information but still Swati required IGP Islamabad to personally look into it only on the basis that a federal minister was calling and asking him to do so.'

The report said that the statement of Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi before the JIT is eye opening to the effect that when Afridi visited the spot even Swati had not informed him about the full facts.

'He, by virtue of and in the context of his office as Senator/ Federal Minister, created a false and made-up impression of serious attack which triggered the police hierarchy from top to bottom and other federal authorities into motion,' it stated.

It further added that Swati in his statement before the JIT accepted his mistake that he had overplayed in the circumstances.

The influence was of such a kind that SHO even asked Usman Swati, son of Azam Swati, if he wanted inclusion of names of women [of the victim family] in FIR. The JIT observed that FIR was 'corrected' by the SHO several times.

JIT in its findings further stated that Swati and his son were continuously in touch with relevant police officials. 'Since they have no personal relation with any of the police official, it is obvious that they were using their official and political profile to advance their instructions.'

'By doing so and raising the level of a trivial matter to the highest level [Swati] prevailed over the police authorities and exerted pressure upon them. It is also evident from the assertions of relevant officials and parties as well as material [which] came on record that Usman Swati and police officials were acting on the instructions of Azam Swati, hence, substantiated the fact that Azam Swati was directly involved in all the actions in respect of harassing and punishing Niaz Muhammad and other family members.'

It is further stated that Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi along with DIG Operations and SSP Operations visited Swati's farmhouse but he did not visit the other family or police stations to know the real facts and Afridi in his statement admitted that he was not given full facts of the case by Swati.

It further added that the Sections 147 and 149 of Pakistan Penal Code also does not support their incorporation in present scenario and it was only incorporated 'out of blue' to arrest the women folks and other family members.

It is further stated that the injured males of Swati side were immediately sent to the hospital but the injured women of victim family were sent to the hospital with delay of two hours.

'The women and Ahsan Ullah stated before the JIT that they had requested the IO and SHO for lodging of their complaint,' the report stated.

Under Criminal Procedure Code nowhere it is mentioned that a written application shall be given to Police Officer rather word 'Orally' is used therein.

The report in its finding stated that Niaz Muhammad, the head of victim family, and all his family members orally agitated their grievance before police officers but they never took any action or registered their complaint or cross version.

'Police officers never investigated even a single issue against Swati's side. It was transpired that the injured women of Niaz family were improperly treated by all aspects. The police also arrested them, took them to Police Station and detained them in absence of female police officials.'

'On consideration of the assertions made by both the sides and the material on record, it is found that the police since inception of the occurrence did not hold the investigation in a just and fair manner.

'In view of the above circumstances, actions and inactions by the Police pursuant to the FIR, one can easily conclude the deliberate negligence of police officials in proceeding with the investigation. In fact the police have colluded with the Swati family in furtherance to their designs.'

The JIT also submitted the report regarding ban on entry of Swati into the USA. During JIT proceedings, it transpired that Swati applied for immigration which has been refused by USA authorities in October 2018.

The report further stated that FIA submitted reply of USA Embassy in Islamabad to JIT stating as to why the US Authorities refused visa to Swati.

The reply of USA Embassy stated, ' The record of proceedings reveal that on November 12, 2000, while in B-1, non-immigrant visa status, you (Swati) completed a form L-40.1, Personal History Sheet with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission indicating that you are a citizen of the United States. The file also includes a copy of your Voters Registration Address Confirmation Card, While in E-2, non-immigrant status, again you represented yourself to be a citizen of the United States by voting in the May 2001 City of Port Arthur Election.

'Because you falsely represented yourself to be a citizen of the United States after September 30, 1996, you are statutorily ineligible to adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident. Therefore, your application must be and is hereby denied. There is no appeal to this decision.'

The report further stated that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) did not provide the information despite repeated requests on the ground that JIT is not the forum to requisite the information.

This matter was brought to the notice of top court's registrar and consequently FBR provided the record upon directions from the top court.

The JIT also submitted its report on Swati's donation of a so-called note of USD 1 million for relief of affectees of Dadar Tragedy.

In July 2001, flood took place in the area of Dadar and its vicinity in which more than 62 persons lost their lives besides destruction of their properties. Swati donated USD 1 million for affected families.

When DCO Mansehra contacted Swati for verification of donation, Swati informed that the so-called note of USD 1 million which he inadvertently delivered to the people collecting donations at Dadar is not a legal treasury note rather it is a sort of toy instrument for schoolchildren for learning maths.

This act of Swati was conveyed to high officials including the Secretary Home Department of KP, Commissioner Hazara Division, Chief Secretary KP and Commandant Junior Leader Academy (JLA).Further SSP Mansehra was directed to take necessary action under the law without further delay.

'It is worth mentioning that the record of the Deputy Commissioners Mansehra is silent regarding the action taken by SSP Mansehra against Swati for depositing the so-called USD 1 million for affectees,' the JIT report stated.

Swati misused authority over IGP transfer: JIT
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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Nov 30, 2018
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