MABAD - After several bids by the Prime Minister Secretariat to rescue the son of Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) influential leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the Presidential camp has also joined the federal government efforts.
Babar Awan, former federal minister for law and justice, who is deemed to be very close to President Asif Ali Zardari, is all set to defend Moonis Elahi, who has allegedly amassed more than 1.1 million sterling pounds in his bank accounts in the United Kingdom.
Senator Babar Awan in his capacity as counsel for Moonis Elahi, the main accused in the National Insurance Company Limited scam, on Wednesday filed petition at the Supreme Court that Zafar Qureshi might not investigate the case impartially, as he in his written statement had stated he had threat from Moonis Elahi. The PPP leader has requested the court to change the head of probe team.
The legal gurus opine that this is a move to gain more time and engage courts in irrelevant issues till Zafar Qureshi is retired.
Qureshi has been in the line of fire ever since he linked the scam to junior Elahi and dared take him into custody for further investigation.
Three attempts were made to prevent Zafar Qureshi from investigating the case. First in February Zafar Qureshi was removed from the NICL investigation on the pretext that he has been promoted and made Managing Director National Police Foundation. When due to Supreme Court intervention he was reposted in the investigations, Malik Muhammad Iqbal after assuming charge of Director General FIA wrote a letter to Secretary Interior that challans of the cases have been submitted therefore there was no need of Zafar Qureshi. On that basis in a major political-cum-administrative development, a notification was issued without any summary and on the verbal order of the competent authority. When the Supreme Court on July 1 suspended the notification, the next day team working with Zafar Qureshi was transferred to distant areas and Qureshi was removed from the service.
It seemed that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have agreed with the conclusion of the Chaudhrys that as long as senior official Zafar Qureshi remained active in government service and handled the NICL case, he would not let Moonis Elahi walk free, and rather there was much more in store for the young man. But President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani should know that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has already stated that investigation into NICL scam would continue even after the retirement of Qureshi.
The Gilani government fears instant collapse if it failed to fully implement its unwritten agreement with the PML-Q. The PML-Q joined the floundering ruling coalition to save Moonis Elahi in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) scam as the principal element.
The federal government and now the President are inclined to protect Moonis Elahi in order to save the government. Both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani are neglecting this aspect that their move would be detrimental to the institutions, particularly the judiciary.
It is reprehensible that the Presidency and the government, which claims to be representing the people, will go to such lengths to confront the countrys highest court just to protect one individual and his own government. The oath of the president of Pakistan says that the president shall protect and defend the Constitution, while Article 41 of the Constitution states: The president shall be the head of state and represent the unity of the republic.
The President being head of state represents not just one party but everyone including those who voted against the ruling party. General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf made a mockery of this clause and ruined all the institutions.
But the democratic government should follow his abominable precedent.
Why dont the PPP leaders realise the fact that real power is the people, who have elected them and they again will have to go to public in the next elections, therefore those who are depending on a party for survival of the government should think for the well being of the whole country. There can be no worse misuse of the name of democracy than this.