ISLAMABAD - Expressing no-trust on the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing into Malik Riaz-Arsalan Iftikhar graft case, the counsel for Arsalan Iftikhar has demanded a probe into the matter under the supervision of some retired bureaucrat or a retired judge of impeccable credentials and character.
A review petition was already pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan where the composition as well as credibility of the members of JIT and its head was questioned.
Since the constitution of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) by National Accountability Bureau to probe Malik Riaz-Arsalan Iftikhar graft case, Arsalan Iftikhar had not only challenged the legality of the JIT under NAB but also questioned the credibility of the team members.
The counsel of Arsalan Iftikhar had challenged the constitution of JIT under National Accountability Ordinance in the Supreme Court terming the whole exercise as illegal and beyond the purview of the NAB.
Earlier, he had served legal notice on NAB Chairman to refrain him from constituting Joint Investigation Team on the direction of Attorney General of Pakistan, but his objection was overruled by Chairman NAB on the ground that JIT was constituted in the light of the Supreme Court’s order in the case. Sources close to Arsalan Iftikhar informed TheNation that all the members in the Joint Investigation Team constituted under Director General, Financial Crimes Investigation Wing (FCIW) Malik Kousar Iqbal, one way or the other, were under the influence of the complainant against him Malik Riaz Hussain, so the findings of investigation into the matter could not be trustworthy.
These sources further said that the head of the JIT Malik Kousar Iqbal is the close confidante of Attorney General of Pakistan and his allegiance with PPP is well established.
Senior lawyer Sardar Ishaq, who is counsel of Arsalan Iftikhar in the case declined to comment on the matter taking the plea as the matter is subjudice before the apex court so he could not comment on it.
However, he confirmed that they had challenged the legality of the JIT as well as its impartiality. Sources close to Arsalan Iftikhar, however, said that they would prove the bias of the JIT before the apex court as the Joint Investigation Team head was clearly leaning in favour of property mogul Malik Riaz Hussain.
Pointing out the affectionate treatment of JIT towards Malik Riaz these sources said that after the recording of the statement of Malik Riaz, the JIT had given him time till July 26th to furnish more evidence and proofs of his allegations against Arsalan Iftikhar but Malik Riaz did not furnish the documents by that date and now to facilitate him Joint Investigation Team has given him another chance to present the same on July 30th.
Similarly, the language of the notices served on him and his son-in-law showed as if they were not accused and just acquainted with the case and just providing evidence whereas the apex court had clearly dubbed Arsalan Iftikhar, Malik Riaz and his son-in-law Salman Ahmed as accused in the case.