ISLAMABAD - The government will seek access to all the accused in the money laundering case from UK only if FIA's initial probe recommends moving ahead with the investigations, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali said yesterday.
He thus indicated that the government would seek access to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, as he is one of the accused in this case being probe in United Kingdom.
"If FIA team probing money laundering case against MQM leadership asked to move ahead with the case, the government would seek legal assistance from UK and access to (Sarfaraz) Merchant as well as other players (accused) involved in the case," the minister told the media at Punjab House.
“We will also ask for an interaction with the Scotland Yard. Federal Investigation agency (FIA) has been asked to complete initial probe within two weeks and all these decisions would be taken in the next step,” he said.
Scotland Yard is probing money laundering case against senior MQM leadership, including Altaf Hussain, in London. And interior minister had recently ordered an FIA inquiry to probe allegations of money laundering, involvement in criminal activities and connections with Indian spy agency-Raw against MQM levelled by Sarfraz Merchant in a TV show on March 1, 2015. Merchant is also an accused in this case in the UK.
Focussing his press talk on the three main issues, money laundering case, allegations of disgruntled MQM leader Mustafa Kamal against his party and cricket team's visit to India, the minister said that FIA team had asked Merchant to appear before it and had issued a summon. "The government guarantees full security to him." Otherwise, FIA team is ready to visit UK but then we would have to get permission from UK, he said.
He said that the probe committee was not limited to the allegations of Merchant and anyone who had proof against the accused should share it with the FIA. Separately, the government had asked the Sindh government and intelligence agencies to share evidence, if they had any, including JIT reports against MQM, he said.
Nisar again brushed aside the demand of formation of a judicial commission on the basis of allegations levelled by former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal against MQM leadership. Judicial commissions could not be formed on basis of mere political statements, he said, urging Kamal to contact the FIA team if he had any solid proof of the assertions he had made few days ago in a press conference.
The minister came down hard on those demanding judicial commission while sitting in live TV shows. "We will form judicial commission if FIA inquiry brought out some fact," he said. He added that inquiry against Merchant would also be made public. "It is not a soap opera rather it’s a matter of serious nature and the government would go deep into the case," he said.
Chaudhry Nisar also viewed that a political party could neither be banned over just a couple of words nor declared anti state. He showed his disappointment and said that some circles wanted to get MQM banned on the basis of unproven allegations.
Replying a question, he said that FIA had indirectly contacted Merchant and he had informed that he would decide to appear before it only after consulting his legal aides.