The Arsalan Iftikhar scandal burst at the center stage when shenanigans on the part of the scions of those in power were already rocking the country.
Moonis Elahi’s name was associated with the NICL scam and Moosa Gilani was under investigation in Ephedrine case. Dost Mohamad Khosa was implicated in the Sapna murder case. The Supreme Court had endeavored to ensure that there was no interference from the government in the investigation of the two former cases. At times, the SC interfered to stop the transfers of investigating officers to ensure that there was no meddling in the enquiry. The Arsalan Iftkhar case caused a shock because highly serious accusations of financial nature were leveled against the son of the Chief Justice who commanded immense respect and was known to be a man of integrity.
Many commiserated with him while all had the confidence that with Ch Iftikhar as CJ, a thoroughly honest enquiry without delay was ensured.A Supreme Court bench ordered the Attorney General to set the machinery of state in motion to look into the alleged dealings of Arsalan with Malik Riaz on June 14. The enquiry however could not be initiated for two months on account of Arsalan’s lawyer showing no trust in the Joint Investigation Team set up by NAB. It was maintained that NAB chairman’s daughter was working in a Bahria Town project while the police officers in the JIT were under the influence of Malik Riaz.
Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of editors and bureau chiefs of the print and electronic media, the NAB chairman maintained that the legal notice sent by Arsalan Iftikhar was tantamount to contempt of court. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court bench constituted a one-man enquiry commission comprising former police officer and current federal tax ombudsman Shoiab Suddle. Malik Riaz’s counsel however maintained that the decision had allowed Arsalan to dodge the investigation.
The delay combined with claims and counterclaims is bound to frustrate many who are not trained in legal matters and who had hoped for a quick disposal of the matter in a transparent manner. Meanwhile, charges have been leveled regarding Arsalan using the CJ House as his business office. It has also been alleged that he used the address of the place for his banking transactions.
Serious allegations continue to be leveled against the CJ on the electronic media. Hopefully, these are all baseless. What has troubled many is that the SC is not charging the man with contempt. There is not only a need to hold an honest enquiry into the Arsalan case but also to call the person who continues to accuse the CJ in the court. – PT