ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik is faced with an immediate threat of disqualification as member of the Parliament and the federal cabinet and is also liable to be put behind the bars if the Supreme Court judgment on NRO is implemented by the government.
The interior minister is reported to have obtained bail against two NAB corruption references that were re-opened after the apex court’s December 16 short order, while in two FIA cases he continues to be a proclaimed offender besides being a dismissed government employee.
These facts disqualify him as a senator and also make him vulnerable to be arrested for being a proclaimed absconder. Despite repeated efforts made by this correspondent, Rehman Malik was not available to offer his comment. The minister’s counsel Amjad Iqbal Qureshi said that Malik’s conviction in absentia in two NAB references has been suspended by the Lahore High Court (LHC) that, according to Qureshi, also granted him bail in those cases.
Amjad Qureshi, who was appointed as judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the present government on Dogar’s recommendation but lost the same because of the apex court’s July 31 judgment, was however, unaware of the FIA cases against Malik in which the interior minister is reportedly still an absconder.
Sources in the FIA said in FIR No.62/98, dated 06.11.1998 lodged under section 4 of Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981 & Sec 3/4 of Passport Act 1974 in Police Station/Passport Cell FIA Peshawar, Rehman Malik was accused to leaving the country through un-authorised route despite being on ECL. The case, the sources said, was challenged and proceeding under section 512 CrPC completed following which Malik was declared proclaimed offender by the court.
In another FIR No.5/99 dated 21.01.1999 lodged under sections 193/211 PPC read with 5(2)47 Prevention of Corruption Act Police Station/Passport Cell FIA Faisalabad, a case was registered against Rehman Malik and sub inspector of FIA Shaukat Mehmood for wrongful registration of case FIR No.16/96 at FIA Faisalabad circle against Barkhurdar & Sarrang Khan due to ulterior motives. Rehman Malik was declared proclaimed offender under section 512 of CrPC. The case was completed on 21.09.2006 and was consigned to record room vide order dated 13.12.2006. A senior FIA source confided to The News that in the above two cases, Rehman Malik has not taken bail till now and these cases are pending with FIA and that the minister in these cases is still proclaimed offender.
Additionally, Malik was additional director general FIA and was under suspension when he fled the country. Later he was dismissed in absentia from service, which was never reversed.
After the Supreme Court’s decision on NRO, the situation remains unchanged regarding his dismissal from service. The incumbent secretary establishment Ismail Qureshi, when contacted, said that he did not receive any case of Rehman Malik after December 16. Director General FIA Zafarullah Khan, when contacted, also contended that he does not know of the two FIRs registered against Rehman Malik by the FIA. He said if these FIRs are more than a decade old then their cases must be pending before the courts. He said that he would check the record and see if there are any pending cases against the interior minister or not.
Article 63(i) of the constitution clearly disqualifies a person to become member of the Parliament if a person has been dismissed from the service of Pakistan or service of a corporation or office set up or controlled by the federal government, provincial government or a local government on the grounds of misconduct or moral turpitude.
Article 63(j), which deals with disqualification of the members of the Parliament, also disqualifies a person, who has been removed or compulsorily retired from the service of Pakistan or service of a corporation or office set up or controlled by the federal government, provincial government or a local government on the grounds of misconduct or moral turpitude.
Malik was sent at least two SMS messages by the correspondent, requesting him to talk to this correspondent to give his version on the story. His mobile remained unanswered despite repeated attempts made. He was contacted at his office where he was present but did not talk to this correspondent.