Hajj corruption case: Ex-DG Hajj Rao Shakeel's frontman released on bail

ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad has released former DG Hajj Rao Shakeel’s frontman Ahmed Faiz on bail in the Hajj corruption case on Tuesday.

The accused has ensured court that will appear in every hearing of the case.

Earlier on Saturday, the court sentenced former religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi to 16 years in prison in the same case. Special Judge Central Nazeer Ahmad also convicted two former senior officials of the religious affairs ministry, Aftab Islam and Rao Shakil, and awarded them 16 and 40 years jail term respectively.

The Hajj scam had surfaced in 2010 after the then Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati accused Kazmi, an influential minister in the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), of his involvement in corruption in the pilgrimage.

A total of 35,000 Pakistanis pilgrims were affected due to high charges.

Afterwards, a case was registered leading to Kazmi’s arrest on March 15, 2011 but he was granted bail by a Rawalpindi court in August 2012.

In its decision in 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered FIA to carry out thorough investigation of this case.

Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had sacked both Kazmi and Swati from their offices.

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