Sunday May 02, 2021
Former DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Memon has clarified that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not mention Justice Qazi Faez Isa's name during their brief meeting.
However, he clarified Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem had mentioned the judge by name.
A few days ago, Memon had levelled serious allegations against the government when he said the prime minister had demanded he register treason cases against Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Asif and book other PML-N leaders in cases. This allegedly took place when Memon was the DG FIA.
He also clarified that Naseem and PM Imran Khan's aide Shahzad Akbar wanted him to register cases against Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
In an interview on Saturday night, Memon clarified the prime minister never mentioned Justice Isa's name.
"That is what I am saying," Memon had said in response to a question by the anchor. "In the brief meeting of two to three minutes, he did not talk about any particular case."
When asked whether the premier had mentioned Justice Isa by name, Memon replied in the negative. He demanded the formation of a judicial commission to further probe the matter, adding that whatever verdict the commission would give, he would accept it.
Memon had also claimed he had told law minister Farogh Naseem in his meeting with the minister that the prime minister had not asked him about Justice Isa; otherwise he would have explained to the premier that it was not the FIA’s job to book cases against him and the Supreme Judicial Council was the right forum to investigate the matter.
The former DG FIA said he would have attempted to explain to the prime minister the legal issues had he talked to him about the judge during the meeting.
Bashir Memon, however, claimed again that the prime minister did ask him to register cases against political leaders which included Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Suleman Shahbaz, Khwaja Asif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Rana Sanaullah, Khurshid Shah, Nafeesa Shah, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Asfandyar Wali and some officials including Arsalan Iftikhar Chaudhry, and former NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry.
About visits to Prime Minister’s Office, the former DG said the records of the main entrance and the protocol office would confirm how many times he had visited the PM Office. Memon said sometimes he had to visit the PM Office thrice a week.
Reacting to Memon's statements, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the practice of blaming the prime minister for an offence, then running headlines on it and at the end, taking a U-turn should end.
"If this issue is raised with the concerned news channel, media freedom is under threat and if the guest is asked to explain, the slogan of political victimisation is raised”, added Chaudhry.
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 government 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 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.