Pakistan’s prime minister claims he merely directed former FIA chief to probe foreign work permit of PMLN leader Khawaja Asif
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday dismissed a “baseless” allegations voiced by former Federal Investigation Agency chief Bashir Memon, claiming he had not directed the official to launch unfounded cases against opposition leaders.
In a meeting with a select group of senior journalists and anchorpersons in Islamabad, he claimed that he had never “directed him to initiate investigations or file any cases against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.” Acknowledging that he had directed Memon to probe the iqama (work permit) case of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Khawaja Asif, the prime minister said this was done after the federal cabinet had decided to investigate the case.
“Bashir Memon was not authorized to file references against a Supreme Court judge so why would I ask him to do this in the first place?” said Khan. He also clarified that he had not directed Memon to file any cases against PMLN’s Maryam Nawaz. “I have never asked [FIA] to file a terrorism case against Maryam Nawaz over a photograph of the First Lady [Bushra Bibi],” he claimed, adding that his meetings with Memon had deal with briefings on the FIA’s joint investigation team’s probe into the Omni Group.
During the press interaction, the prime minister also addressed the ongoing probe into PTI leader Jahangir Tareen as part of the sugar scam inquiry. Claiming that Tareen was not being targeted “unlawfully,” he stressed that the PTI could not deviate from its mission of holding everyone accountable, regardless of their political affiliation. He also claimed that Mohammad Rizwan, the FIA director for Lahore, had not been removed from the case, adding that a new investigator had been added to the team.
Earlier this week, Memon had alleged in a TV interview that the prime minister, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, and Law Minister Farogh Naseem had asked him to file money-laundering cases against Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa, as well as cases of terrorism and corruption against opposition leaders. Akbar has already announced that would proceed against Memon in court over “slander,” while Naseem has described the claims as “baseless.”