KARACHI  – Anti-Terrorism Court judge Sana Ullah Gauri on Monday issued arrest warrants for ex-federal minister Amin Fahim, ex-commerce secretary Salman Ghani, Amin Qasim Dada, Javed Syed, Khalid Anwer and Amin Hussain for allegedly being involved in NICL corruption case.

The court also ordered the officials concerned to produce the accused in the court on April 12. Scions of powerful political families are implicated in the case. The highest court in the land is in dogged pursuit. Protection to some of the alleged culprits is being extended allegedly by top officials. Junior law-enforcement officers are being ordered by the court to take action against their superiors if they are prevented from carrying out their duties.

The National Insurance Company Ltd (NICL) scandal which has swirled around the son of former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi continues to be an odd spectacle. Moonis Elahi has apparently decamped, first to Dubai and now London, while FIA DG Waseem Ahmed is now being investigated for allegedly blocking the arrest of another suspect, an NICL director. At the heart of the scandal lies a couple of sweetheart property deals involving the NICL which were facilitated allegedly by Moonis Elahi during his father`s rule as the all-powerful Punjab chief minister. The cost to the public exchequer is believed to be in the range of Rs 3.5 billion and Elahi`s share was allegedly Rs 220 million.

Sadly, there is nothing unusual about such scandals. Powerful politicians in cahoots with shady financiers are routinely accused of bilking the state of untold sums. The only thing unusual about the NICL scandal is that it has stayed in the news so long and there appears to be some possibility of criminal wrongdoing being found and prosecuted.

So it is, perhaps, not very surprising that now there are allegations that powerful vested interests have swung into action in a bid to conceal the truth from the public and courts,. The intersection between politics and big money remains as real as it is influential. What`s needed now is a clear commitment from the government to let the investigating officers pursue the matter into whichever corridors of power it leads to. Let the chips fall where they will.