ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE - Observing a countrywide strike over the controversial death of their colleague, Kamran Faisal, investigation officers of the National Accountability Bureau on Monday, asked straightway the bureau chairman, Admiral (retired) Fasih Bokhari, to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to implement Supreme Court’s order in the rental power projects (RPPs) case, instead of colluding with criminals. They also rejected the commission set up by the government, and called for formation of an inquiry body under an apex court sitting judge. Besides, a charter of demands was handed to Fasih Bokhari by a seven-member team of NAB investigation officers. These developments are significant since they followed a decision of NAB staff to go on a pen down strike across the country as a mark of solidarity with the family of Kamran Faisal and to offer resentment and disgust over what they termed a ‘pre-meditated murder’. In Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta and other cities NAB officials went on a pen down strike and later wore black armbands in protest against the controversial death of their colleague. Kamran Faisal, who was assisting in the investigations into the Rs22 billion rental power scam, was found hanging at his official residence in Federal Lodges, Islamabad, on Friday. His sudden death has been declared a suicide by an initial police probe. Autopsy report from PIMS established this finding. But, this all has been rejected by Faisal’s family, friends. Their contention is that he was a man of strong nerves and hence could not commit suicide. The demands presented to the bureau chief included implementation of apex court’s order in letter and spirit, removing all contractual NAB employees, providing full protection to investigation officers and investigation into the mysterious death of Kamran Faisal by a serving Supreme Court judge for a fair and transparent probe. Incorporation of a NAB representative into the new commission and Rs20 million compensation for the bereaved family was the other demands that the seven-official team made to Fasih Bokhari. “We pray to the chief justice of Pakistan to ensure that no adverse action whatsoever is taken against NAB employees by the government or the NAB chairman,” they said in their set of demands, adding that “we strongly resolve to work in accordance with the law and as per judgments of the Supreme Court, and therefore we demand that the NAB chairman should implement the Supreme Court order of January 15 in letter and spirit”.Nevertheless, NAB staff will continue with their strike, as the chairman has rejected all of their major demands in his over one-hour long web address to all the regional offices of NAB, including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi as well as Islamabad Headquarters. He accepted just two demands. The officials’ team meanwhile decided to continue the strike until at least two of their demands – one about the formation of a new commission and second about the removal of contractual bureau employees – were not met. These IOs are also determined to appear before the apex court on January 23 during the hearing of the RPPs case to convey their concerns to the court. Not surprisingly, a new confrontation has made way between permanent and contractual employees of the bureau. The IOs want contractual employees working on senior posts at NAB headquarters be removed. They are of the view that the bureau could not conduct impartial and transparent investigations into the cases in the presence of contractual officers possessing top posts. Reportedly, the seven-member team also pulled up their chief for not attending the funeral prayers of Kamran Faisal. They demanded the government should not declare the death of Kamran Faisal a suicide case until a thorough probe was completed. “It is apparently a case of murder because the knot around the neck of the deceased was loose, his feet were touching the chair,” a NAB official said on the condition of anonymity. He added that they were not ready to accept it a suicide case in the presence of the evidences. He said that doctors were under immense pressure from the certain quarters that they declared the death of Faisal a suicide. The IOs rejected the government-made commission headed by Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal to investigate the events leading to the death of Kamran Faisal. This commission formally started its work on Monday. It has been tasked with reporting to the government within the next 14 days. According to sources, NAB chief Bokhari has held out assurance that investigation officers and staff would be given full protection. During the videoconference, he said he would visit the family of Kamran Faisal within a week and then announce compensation money, keeping in view the budget constraints. At the same time, he said he had talked to the government but a new commission could not be formed. “I am facing immense pressure from the government,” a source quoted Bokhari as having said. The NAB chief also showed helplessness as regards the removal of contractual employees owing to pressure from certain quarters. He requested NAB employees not to go to the Supreme Court on the next hearing of the RPPs case.A NAB statement issued on Monday said the chairman interacted with the grieving officers of NAB Rawalpindi, especially colleagues of investigation officer Kamran Faisal, and assured them that all appropriate measures would be taken to redress their grievances. The officers posed full faith in the command of the chairman, and assured him of their support. The chairman gave his consent to have a NAB investigator on inquiry commission. He promised that he would continue his efforts to ensure transparency, meritocracy and fair play. On Sunday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters that a notification had been issued and the commission headed by Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal had been tasked with determining the cause and circumstances of death of Faisal and submit its report within two weeks. Two senior experts would assist the commission, he added.According to the notification, the commission head will get assistance of an official of grade-20 or above. It has been empowered to order a police investigation into any matter coming before it and to summon any person and any record for examination. It is learnt that Faisal was under severe ‘pressure’ while investigating the RPP scam and he had requested the Supreme Court to let him dissociate himself from the case. The FIR of the case has not been registered so far. Also, police on Sunday recorded statements of four people, including colleagues of the deceased. Abdul Hameed Chaudhry, father of Faisal, has said he wanted to get the FIR registered but police was reluctant to do so. He said his son’s wrists had marks as if they had been tied up with a rope. My son could not commit suicide because he was a Hafiz-e-Quran and “knew that Islam forbids suicide”, he said.