Thursday Apr 29, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday finally broke his silence regarding the allegations levelled against him by former Federal Investigation Agency chief Bashir Memon and said that "all the claims" made by Memon are "baseless".
"I had only directed Memon to investigate the iqama (work permit) case of PML-N's Khawaja Asif," the premier said.
The prime minister made the statements while speaking during a meeting with senior journalists and anchorpersons in Islamabad.
"The decision to investigate the case of Khawaja Asif was taken during a meeting of the federal cabinet," the PM said, adding that he had directed Memon to investigate whether the country's former foreign minister was holding a foreign resident permit and withdrawing a salary from foreign sources.
"All the claims made by Bashir Memon are baseless," the premier said. "I have never directed him to initiate investigations or file any cases against Justice Qazi Faez Isa."
The premier added: "Bashir Memon was not even authorised to file references [against a Supreme Court judge], so why would I ask him to do so in the first place?"
Responding to a question, the premier said that he had also not directed Memon to file any cases against Opposition leader Maryam Nawaz or anyone else from the PML-N or the PPP.
"I have never asked [the FIA] to file a terrorism case against Maryam Nawaz regarding the photograph of the First Lady," the premier maintained.
"Bashir Memon used to only brief me about the investigation the FIA's joint investigation team was carrying out against the Omni Group," PM Khan said.
PM Khan also spoke about Jahangir Tareen's case and said that Barrister Ali Zafar will ensure that Tareen is not being unlawfully targeted.
"The PTI cannot deviate from its mission of holding everyone accountable, even if a senior party leader like Jahangir Tareen is involved," the PM said.
Answering a question, the premier dismissed the news related to the removal of sugar scandal probe team chief Dr Rizwan.
It should be recalled a few days ago, Memon, while speaking on the Geo News' programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath," had alleged he was asked by the prime minister himself to file cases against Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa and other Opposition leaders during his tenure as the FIA's director-general.
Memon had claimed that Federal Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar had also wanted him to proceed against Justice Isa on money laundering charges.
The former FIA chief had said that he had refused to do so as "the FIA had no grounds to do so, especially since the matter pertained to a Supreme Court judge."
Memon had said he once had a meeting with the prime minister during which the premier lauded his services by saying that he is a "very good officer" and told him to pursue cases against corrupt people.
The former DG FIA said he did not know at the time that he would later be asked to file a case against Justice Isa.
"It was in Akbar's office that I got to know that the case PM Imran was referring to was to be filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa," Memon said. "I told Akbar categorically that it was not possible for me to do that."
The former FIA chief said he was then taken to the law minister's office, saying that minister Naseem was also convinced that a case against Justice Isa could be filed.
According to Memon, Dr Ashfaque of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was also present at the law minister's office.
Memon claimed that Dr Ashfaque was in possession of some data which Naseem believed could be used to file a case against Justice Isa. However, Memon said he told them point-blank that it was not possible for him to book the Supreme Court judge.
Naseem disagreed, said Memon, adding that he was of the view that the FIA and the FBR could cooperate and make a case against the judge on the basis of the data Dr Ashfaque had with him.
Naseem, according to Memon, said he would contest the case himself in court.