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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Former FIA prosecutor clears air on Sharif’s money laundering case

While giving an exclusive interview to a private media channel, Sikandar Zulqernain rejected the notion that he was removed because he did not appear in the court for the hearings on the money laundering case.

The former prosecutor of the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) has made some shocking revelations regarding the money laundering case of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz.

Pertinent to mention, earlier, the Law Ministry suspended FIA prosecutors including Sikandar Zulqarnain on May 13, on the ground of non-appearance in two hearings of the case, as per media reports.

Prior to this, reports emerged that the FIA director general (DG), via the investigating officer, told Special Prosecutor Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem not to appear in court as the “accused in the case are going to be elected the prime minister of Pakistan and chief minister of Punjab”.

Read more: FIA steps back from cases on Hamza, Shehbaz Sharif?

As a result, it was believed that the FIA had withdrawn the case against the Sharif father-duo. However, later the FIA stated in a press release that Zulqarnain was instructed not to appear on behalf of the prosecution. It was not a withdrawal application.

Sikandar Zulqernain clarifies the matter

While giving an exclusive interview to a private media channel, Sikandar Zulqernain rejected the notion that he was removed because he did not appear in the court for the hearings. In fact, he was told not to appear as both the accused are going to become Prime Minister and Chief Minister.

Moreover, Sikandar Zulqernain also revealed that former FIA Director Dr. Rizwan was under a lot of pressure prior to his untimely death due to cardiac arrest. Important to note, Dr Rizwan was presiding over the entire investigations of FIA against Shehbaz Sharif and his family in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.

Read more: Chaudhry Sugar Mills case: NAB kept silence for 14 months, Maryam Nawaz tells LJC

On another note, Sikandar Zulqernain also agreed with the journalist that the money laundering case was an “open and shut case”. He also said the case was supposed to be dealt with in five to six months. He also rejected the idea that anyone approached him to negatively influence the case. Sikandar Zulqernain asserted that he does not have any political affiliation and was only fulfilling his professional responsibility.

The FIA had in December 2021 submitted the challan against Shehbaz and Hamza to a special court for their alleged involvement in laundering an amount of Rs 16 billion in the sugar scam case. Moreover, FIA also claimed that the father-son duo failed to provide a money trail of Rs 16 billion which had nothing to do with their sugar business.