http//:www.selectal.blogspot.com Global Trends: May 2013

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Officer who unearthed Rs82 billion Ogra scam being harassed

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Waqas Ahmad Khan, the NAB investigation officer who had dug out the Rs82 billion Ogra scam, and some other key witnesses are being harassed, haunted and threatened apparently to save the powerful and mighty involved in the alleged crime.

Such is the situation for the inquiry officer, who only recently had exposed the top bosses of the NAB for allowing Tauqir Sadiq to escape despite the issuance of arrest warrants, that he changes his accommodation quite frequently, rarely visits the NAB headquarters and apprehends serious threats to his life.

Former Executive Director Finance Ogra Jawad Naseem, a key witness, was humiliated and then pressurised to resign only for the reason that he had recorded his statement with the NAB in the Orga scam and provided necessary documents.

Another witness, a woman officer of the SECP, is being haunted by the top brass of the SECP, which has initiated criminal proceedings against the officer who was adamant to probe the stock manipulation in connection with the Ogra case.

Sources in the NAB confided to The News that after the mysterious death of Kamran Faisal, who was the investigation officer in the RPPs’ case, Waqas Ahmad Khan has now sought protection from the concerned authorities.

The sources claimed that Waqas Khan has told his colleagues that he is being followed, his mobile numbers are tapped and he even feels threatened from certain key officials of the NAB headquarters in Islamabad.

Last year, on August 7, during the hearing of the Ogra case, no less than the Chief Justice of Pakistan had directed the NAB chairman to provide protection to Waqas Khan after the apex court had realised that the officer had disclosed all the sensitivities of the case. The apex court had required from the chairman NAB a certificate, conveying that Fasih Bokhari would not pressurise Waqas Khan or any other investigation officer of the NAB in Pakistan. The same was submitted by Bokhari. However, the officer was never provided security.

These sources said that an influential director general of the NAB had told Waqas in August-September 2012 to put up a note suggesting that the investigation into this high-profile case should be supervised and conducted by Ahmad Hayat Luk, GM Legal Affairs, OGDCL.

The Supreme Court has already been informed by Waqas that he had refused to oblige and his senior strictly told him that since the concerned DG was not his reporting officer, so he should not call him again.

A senior executive of one of the leading brokerage houses, when summoned, initially avoided but when pressed to appear before the investigation officer, appeared before the IO on August 27 and instead of cooperating with the investigation hurled threats at Waqas. Waqas informed his DG operations about this.

When the interim reference was filed in the Accountability Court, Rawalpindi, in September 2012, the level of pressure on the investigation officer mounted many times. All of a sudden, Waqas found that he has been declared proclaimed offender in some FIRs, which were previously lodged against him when he was probing a scandal involving senior police officers.

These FIRs were already declared bogus by a committee of three senior police officers from the Punjab. Waqas informed the apex court about these FIRs, which alleged him of committing dacoity and gang rape in different police stations of Lahore and Kasur.

The police officers, who were found by Waqas to have been allegedly involved in the Rs1.2 billion Canal Motors scam, were alleged to have been behind the lodging of bogus FIRs by the Punjab Police committee. After the filing of the reference, the said FIRs were reinvestigated without any information to Waqas.

Extreme pressure was exerted on the IO of the Ogra case when he summoned Shazia Beg, a deputy director in the SECP, in connection with the stock manipulation and pecuniary benefits gained on account of the issuance of a notification for raising unaccounted for gas from five to seven percent.

Officially, the SECP barred the woman officer from appearing before the IO. Some other senior officials of the SECP appeared before Waqas early last month while none of them were summoned. However, following Waqas’s insistence Shazia Beg appeared before the IO and submitted all the documentary evidence relating to stock manipulation and pecuniary benefits involving billions of rupees.

Shazia Beg was interviewed by the IO. She also offered to become a witness in the case and told the NAB that she had been harassed by her seniors, who wanted her not to cooperate with the inquiry.

She also told the NAB that last year she was assigned by the SECP to investigate the same matter (manipulation of stock shares of SNGPL and SSGCL on account of raising of unaccounted for gas from five to seven percent by Tauqir Sadiq) but was later barred from this and transferred from Karachi to Islamabad. After she started cooperating with the NAB, not only she started facing all kinds of harassment but had also been made an OSD. Adding insult to her injuries, criminal proceedings have also been started against the woman officer for allegedly leaking out confidential information. She does not know precisely as to what kind of information she has leaked and to whom.

Sources said that certain officials in the SECP are also considering initiating serious litigation against Waqas Khan in order to disassociate him from the case. The IO has formally told the Supreme Court that his probe has been hampered by the SECP officials.

Another witness Jawad Naseem has been executive director finance in Ogra for quite sometime. Being a financial expert, he has been resisting Tauqir Sadiq in different cases, including unaccounted for gas and Dewan Petroleum pricing mechanism.

When his statement was recorded by the NAB and cited as prosecution witness in the Ogra reference, his cadre was changed from Finance to Planning and Coordination Division. Later, he was made an OSD and then pressurised to resign.

Ultimately, the reputed officer had to leave Ogra and joined the Sui Northern in a position two steps lower than what he had been holding in Ogra.

Friday, May 24, 2013

BBC News - Two held after RAF Typhoon jets escort Pakistan plane over UK

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