Courtesy: Daily "The News", 19 April 2011
By ANSAR ABBASIISLAMABAD: The National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case has already swallowed several key government officials and law officers because of government’s obstinate attitude not to allow reopening of corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari but now things are moving to focus on Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
While the apex court Monday issued show cause notices to Advocate-On-Record Raja Abdul Ghafoor and Solicitor General Syed Nasir Ali Shah for being non-cooperative and for their misstatements, at least one secretary law, two attorneys general including an acting one, chairman and prosecutor general NAB and others have already been removed or have opted to resign because of the NRO case.
The government, which had refused to defend the NRO before the Supreme Court in 2009 when the petitions challenging the law were heard by the apex court, is deliberately using all possible tactics, legal or illegal, to delay the NRO review case before the apex court.
The then acting Attorney General, Shah Khawar, who on behalf of the government had told the apex court that the government was not interested to defend the NRO and that all the corruption cases should be re-opened, was amongst the first casualty as he was removedwithin a few days of Babar Awan taking charge of the Law Ministry.
Shah Khawar had to leave along with his legal team including then Deputy Attorney General Agha Tariq. Interestingly the federation’s counsel in the NRO case Kamal Azfar too had taken the same position of not defending the NRO. As the government in the review petition has altogether changed its original stance, Kamal Azfar has too become irrelevant so he has been disassociated from the case.
Then Secretary Law Justice (R) Aqil Mirza opted to quit after the retired judge could not face the apex court in respect of the implementation of the NRO judgment and in particular about the government’s inaction towards the SC’s direction to write to the Swiss authorities for re-opening of corruption cases against Asif Ali Zardari and to secure the looted money deposited in Swiss accounts.
Aqil Mirza was summoned by the apex court more than once but he could not proceed as per the apex court’s direction because of the government’s stubbornness not to write to the Swiss authorities. Under the situation, Mirza opted to resign. He was then replaced by Masood Chishti as Law Secretary. Chishti, an ordinary lawyer, was picked up for the important slot for being a junior and close confidant of the former Law Minister Babar Awan.
Then Chairman NAB Navid Ahsan, Prosecutor General Danishwar Malik and Deputy Prosecutor General Abdul Baseer Qureshi were reprimanded by the apex court in the NRO decision for being non-cooperative. The government was directed to remove all the three. Although Qureshi had tendered his resignation immediately but the government continued with the other two for months.
Later Navid Ahsan was summoned by the apex court for quite a few times to get the NRO decision implemented but the officer too became the target of the government after he started acting on the directions of the Supreme Court. Once he even drafted a letter for the Swiss authorities and sent it to the Law Ministry to forward the same to the concerned foreign authorities but the government snubbed him.
Navid Ahsan initially opted to go on leave but later he had to resign as the government had rendered him useless as far as the question of the NRO implementation was concerned. Then Prosecutor General Danishwar Malik had too resigned but only after he had withdrawn all the corruption documents from the Swiss authorities.
Former Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan too had to quit in frustration after the government adamantly resisted the implementation of the NRO judgment. Anwar Mansoor had said that he was told by the former Law Minister Babar Awan that the NRO judgment would not be implemented in any case.
In order to secure the interests of the president, initially a choice officer Javed Zia Qazi was allowed to run the NAB as its acting chairman but after the apex court declared his appointment as illegal another favourite, Justice (R) Deedar Shah, was appointed as chairman NAB, who too was removed by the apex court after finding his appointment as illegal.
Last year the government’s choice NAB Prosecutor General Urfan Qadir was also shown the door by the apex court after his appointment was found illegal for the reason that he had already served as prosecutor general before.
While many changes within the NAB were made and quite a few officials were disassociated from the NRO cases to protect the interests of the NRO beneficiaries, one of the senior most officials Kausar Iqbal Malik was removed after he recently assured the public accounts committee that the NAB is prepared to write to the Swiss authorities. Kausar Malik was DG (operations) in the NAB.
Note: The viewpoint expressed in this article is solely that of the writer. "FATA Awareness Initiative" Team may not agree with the opinion presented........................
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