ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Additional Director General FIA to proceed against Khushnood Lashari Principal Secretary to PM, former DGs FIA Waseem Ahmed and Malik Iqbal for ordering not to arrest Khurram Rasool, ex-Media Coordinator of Prime Minister.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprised Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Pervaiz heard a petition filed by Pervaiz Hussain and others.

The Chief Justice ordered Additional DG FIA Chaudhry Sajjad Ahmed to record the statement of petitioner, who has alleged that Khushnood Lashari Principal Secretary to PM first phoned former DG FIA Waseem Ahmed and after his retirement to the then DG FIA Malik Iqbal not to arrest Khurram Rasool.

CJ said if it was proved that those officials have ordered the Director General not to arrest then immediately arrest Lashari, Waseem and Iqbal and submit a report in this regard by Wednesday (today).

Rashid Rizvi, counsel for the petitioners, argued that Mian Khurram has swindled over Rs 430 million from Karachi-based business concern on the pretext of managing petroleum export licence to NATO forces.

The learned counsel informed the court that Khurram Rasool had opened number of bank accounts on fake names.

The CJP asked Rizvi why Nargis Sethi had lodged the complaint against Khurram Rasool? Rasheed Rizvi said Nargis Sethi at that time was Principal Secretary of Prime Minister and Khurram Rasool was media coordinator of the PM.

Onset of the proceeding the Chief Justice, taking notice of the DG FIA Syed Tehsin Anwar Shah’s absence, inquired from Director (Legal) FIA Azam Khan, who represented the agency why DG has not come? The Director (Legal) informed that the DG was chairing an important meeting at the office.

The Chief Justice ordered SC Registrar office to check and get a fax from FIA regarding the meeting from agency’s office.

In the last hearing, DG FIA was given four days to arrest PTV’s ex-media adviser Mian Khurram Rasool and warned of criminal action if he failed to apprehend him.

Rasheed Rizvi informed the court that Rasool received money on the pretext of managing a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) quota and oil export licence to NATO forces in Afghanistan for two companies of the petitioners including Sahara Gas (Pvt) Limited and Pak Delta Enterprises (Pvt) Limited.

Khurram Rasool and his brother Shahid Mehmood and one Ghulam Ghaus managed to forge the signature of Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources on various agreements.

The forgery of signatures on the agreements came to the knowledge of the petitioners when they presented the documents for implementation to the relevant government departments, adding, that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Parco informed the petitioners that all the agreements presented were forged documents while no amount was received by them for or on behalf of the petitioners.

The Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani taking notice of it directed his Principal Secretary to write to Interior Secretary for initiation of an inquiry. As inquiry found Rasool guilty and an FIR was registered against him, his brother Shahid Mehmood and other accomplices and officials of that bank.

But FIA neither arrested any accused mentioned in the FIR nor did it conduct an investigation. Upon that the petitioners filed writ petitions before Islamabad High Court against the DG FIA.

The High Court issued directives to FIA on July 2011 to proceed with the matter strictly in accordance with law sans any fear or favour and to arrest the accused. But no action was taken by the FIA in the case so far.

Rizvi also pleaded that Khurram Rasool also allegedly got the support of officials of a bank in Islamabad where, he said, accounts were opened in the name of fake partnership without observing the State Bank of Pakistan’s instructions in opening a new account.

The hearing was adjourned till Wednesday (today).