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April 30, 2021

Filing a reference was not Memon’s job: PM

April 30, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday rejected outright the allegations of former DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Memon as baseless and said he did not call for investigation against anyone except the PML-N leader Khawaja Asif. He said this during an interaction with senior journalists and anchorpersons here.

Imran refuted Memon’s allegations and also spoke on other national matters. Various issues facing the country as well as Memon’s allegations came under discussion. “It was not Bashir Memon's job to file the reference, so why ask him?”

Imran said he had never talked about making cases against PML-N or PPP and never asked for making a case of terrorism against Maryam Nawaz in the case of picture of the first lady. However, he added Memon used to brief him on JIT’s progress with reference to Omni Group.

“I had only asked him to investigate the issue of Khawaja Asif's Iqama. I had asked him to investigate how could it be that the foreign and defense minister took foreign residence and salary, whereas the decision to investigate was also taken in a cabinet meeting against Khawaja Asif.

In this regard, senior journalist Shahzad Iqbal, who was also present during the interaction, said in an exclusive interview with Geo News that during the meeting, the prime minister often requested to keep things secret and not to put them on record but he spoke openly on the issue of Bashir Memon.

He said the prime minister termed all the allegations of Bashir Memon baseless and said these instructions were never given by him or the government to Bashir Memon. He said the prime minister had made it clear that he had never asked for a terrorism case against Maryam Nawaz on the issue of picture of the first lady. Apart from Khawaja Asif, he had not called for investigation against any leader of PML-N or PPP.

He said Bashir Memon was asked to investigate the case against Khawaja Asif, as he was foreign minister and defence minister which was a conflict of interest. The senior journalist said the prime minister said this was not only said to Bashir Memon but it was also discussed in the regular cabinet after which the former DG FIA was told this.

He said in the case of Qazi Faez Isa, Bashir Memon was not given any instructions by the prime minister or the government and similarly he was not given instructions with regard to investigation or arrest of any PPP or PML-N.

Bashir Memon had recently levelled serious allegations against the prime minister and the government, including filing cases against the opposition and this led to a political unease and a wave of speculations.

Speaking in Geo's program, Memon had alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Advisor on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar and Federal Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem tried to pressure him for filing a lawsuit against Justice Isa.

He had also said that he had refused to file a case against Justice Faiz Isa and said he could not tarnish the reputation of an institution. He had revealed that there was pressure to file cases against the PMLN President Shahbaz Sharif and Vice President Maryam Nawaz.

Bashir Memon had said that cases were filed against Shahbaz Sharif's son and other PMLN leaders, including Capt (R) Safdar, while he was asked to file terrorism case against Maryam Nawaz at three different times.

He had said there was pressure to file a terrorism case against Maryam Nawaz on the issue of press conference in the video scandal related to Judge Arshad Malik.

Memon had said that there was a lot of pressure to arrest Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz besides Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Aurangzeb, Hamza Shahbaz, Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Rana Sanaullah, Javed Latif, and Khurram Dastagir.

Anyone who spoke against the government, including Khursheed Shah, Nafisa Shah and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar from the PPP, he was pressured to arrest him and hold an inquiry against him.

The prime minister said the PTI legislators met him on the case of Jahangir Tareen and asked him to form a judicial commission. The government has decided that Barrister Ali Zafar will look into the case of Jahangir Tareen.

He will see that Jahangir Tareen is not being targeted. He will report the matter to him. He said the case of Jahangir Tareen will definitely be investigated and that accountability could not be held back, even if it concerned Tareen.

The prime minister also made it clear that the head of the team investigating the sugar scandal, Dr. Rizwan, had not been removed, rather Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh had been made part of the sugar scandal investigation team.