No arrest in sugar scam probe without evidence: FIA official

LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) team led by Additional Director Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh and tasked with investigating sugar scandal held a meeting on Saturday and decided that no arrest would be made in the case without incriminating evidence.

Director of FIA Lahore Mohammad Rizwan also attended the meeting.

Earlier in the week, Mr Rizwan was removed from the position of head of the investigation team by the government on the demand of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) “estranged” leader Jahangir Khan Tareen and 30 or so lawmakers backing him.

Mr Bakhsh confirmed to Dawn that no arrest would be made in the sugar scam without incriminating evidence. So far there had been no arrest in the case, he added.

Responding to a question about ‘slow’ progress in the case after removal of Mr Rizwan as probe team’s leader, Mr Bakhsh said: “This is not the case. The FIA investigation team is doing its work professionally.”

On Thursday, Senator Ali Zafar, who has been tasked by Prime Minister Imran Khan with overseeing the sugar scam probe, held meetings with Mr Tareen’s legal team and the FIA officials concerned to ascertain their views on the investigations carried out so far into the matter.

“I am confident that analysis of the FIA investigations into the FIRs registered against Jahangir Tareen would be complete within the shortest possible time — hopefully within a month. The final report will be submitted to the premier in May,” Senator Zafar had told this reporter.

The prime minister earlier this week formed a one-man committee comprising his confidant, Senator Zafar, to determine whether the concerns expressed by some persons holding key positions in the government and the PTI that Mr Tareen was being victimised were genuine or not.

The decision to form the committee was made after PM Khan met some 30 lawmakers of his party who supported Mr Tareen’s stance that he was being victimised.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2021

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