FIA asked to finish probe in treason case by March 7

Source: Published in Justice on Thursday, January 14, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The special court seized with the high treason case on Wednesday set March 7 as the deadline for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to complete the re-investigation in the case.

The FIA investigation team submitted a progress report in a sealed envelope to the three-judge bench special court.

The team informed the court that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz could not be examined as his whereabouts were unknown.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar also refused to record his statement with the investigation team on the basis of a pending petition in the Supreme Court. Justice Dogar had challenged the order of the special court to record his statement along with former president Pervez Musharraf, former premier Aziz and the incumbent federal minister, Zahid Hamid.

Sources in the investigation team told Dawn that Hamid in his statement denied any role in the imposition of the 2007 emergency.

According to the sources, he claimed that not a single summary moved on Nov 3, 2007, in connection with the imposition of the emergency and the subsequent events, including the removal and appointment of judges, were routed through his office.

The sources said the then special secretary law, retired justice Ajmal Mian, also expressed ignorance that who had forwarded the summaries to his office as he was in Peshawar at that time and was asked to come back to sign the summaries.

It may be mentioned that the special court in its order on Nov 21, 2014, had pointed out that Shaukat Aziz facilitated the imposition of the emergency and the change intended to be brought about under the provisional constitution order (PCO).

About Zahid Hamid, the then law minister who is now serving in Nawaz Sharif cabinet, the order said: “The law minister is supposed to be conscious of the legal consequences but he and the then prime minister instantly indulged themselves in the process of removing and appointing judges on Nov 3, 2007.”

It added that the removal and appointment of the superior court judges were undertaken by the then federal law minister.

He used to initiate a summary containing the proposal to the prime minister who then with his advice forwarded it to the president.

Once the summary was approved by the president, the notifications were issued. Likewise, the Nov 21 order added that Justice Dogar was very swiftly nominated and with a span of only few hours of imposition of the 2007 emergency was sworn in as the chief justice of Pakistan.

It said Justice Dogar would not have been made the chief justice of Pakistan had he not consented to accept the slot prior to the issuance of the PCO.

After the verdict was announced, Aziz, Hamid and Dogar challenged it before the IHC where it was overturned in November 2015 with a direction to the FIA to re-investigate the entire case to determine the role of any accused in the imposition of the emergency.

However, the special court in a subsequent hearing again ordered the FIA to record the statements of all those who might be behind the imposition of the emergency.

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