Nisar vows to continue probes ‘whether anyone likes it or not’

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan came down hard on Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Friday, saying that relevant departments will continue investigating all corruption cases “whether anyone likes it or not”.

Talking to media persons at the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) headquarters, the interior minister said that investigations into corruption cases, Rangers’ operation in Karachi and all the steps against corruption will continue, “regardless of personal attacks or complaints against me by the PPP.”

Nisar asked the PPP not to forget its past before accusing him of committing contempt of court as it was the PPP, which left no stone unturned in targeting the apex court in the wake of then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s disqualification. “During the tenure of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, this was Asif Ali Zardari who used to abuse him [Iftikhar],” he remarked.

Nisar said he did not discuss the Quetta Commission report, but only put five questions before the nation, which had been asked by the commission from him. “I will answer this matter before the SC; therefore, I have decided to move Supreme Court to defend myself on the Quetta Commission report,” he said, adding that former Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan will represent the Ministry of Interior in the SC in the matter.

Asked about the decision of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to contest elections, he said, “I am not the right man to comment on Zardari, Bilawal and Ayyan Ali.”

Answering a question about a picture purportedly showing President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on the social media, Nisar replied the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated a probe into the matter. “The world knows that it is Iqbal Zafar Jhagra but it is being shared on social media by describing the name of the designated chief justice of Pakistan instead of Jhagra’s,” he added.

He said the two important political leaders also made statements that heads of some important institutions are “our people.” “Prime Minister and President of Pakistan do not appoint chief justice, but there is a set procedure for the appointment of the CJP,” he added.

Nisar said the Ministry of Interior is in contact with the management of social media sites to obtain information related to the release of this picture. “We are in contact with Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media sites to expose the elements and their hidden motives for launching a negative campaign to damage the credibility of the state institutions,” he added. Without naming the PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), he said they want the heads of institutions that support their corruption and sit-ins.

To a question, he said the committee probing the Dawn Leak issue has been given a one-month extension to submit its report.

To another query about Pervez Musharraf’s recent statement, he said his ministry put the name of former president on the exit control list (ECL) for two-and-a-half-years. He said the trial court, High Court and then Supreme Court had allowed Musharraf to travel abroad. The interior minister said two more committees are being formed to investigate the Axact and Khanani and Kalia money laundering case, adding that much of the record in Khanani and Kalia case had been wasted.

He said that slain Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor Akhtar was issued a Pakistani computerised national identity card (CNIC) in 2005, accusing the past government over openly issuing CNICs and passports to foreigners. “The case of issuance of Pakistani CNIC to Mullah Mansoor was taken to the UN Security Council,” he added.

He said during the re-verification process 86,340 fake CNICs were identified and blocked in the last six months, adding in this campaign, the NADRA sent SMS to 101 million citizens, he added. During the current year, 223,512 CNICs were blocked and 96,000 IDs had been blocked in the previous year, he said.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced to form an 18-member parliamentary committee to oversee the verification process of CNICs and Nadra will brief the committee on a weekly basis, adding the decisions will be taken on a fast track.

-Business Recorder