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Pak chief justice’s son is not new to controversies

Reports alleged that Dr Iftikhar sought favours from a big business magnate, Malik Riaz Hussain.

DAWN correspondent  10th Jun 2012

Dr Arsalan Iftikhar (C).

akistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo moto action against one of his own sons, Dr Arsalan Iftikhar after reports alleged that the latter sought favours from one of the biggest business magnates of Pakistan, Malik Riaz Hussain. Dr Iftikhar is not new to controversies and was earlier brought to the limelight in 2007 when Pervez Musharraf filed a reference against his father before the Supreme Judicial Council. The reference stated various allegations against Iftikhar, however, none of them were proven during the trial of the chief justice.

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was suspended by Pervez Musharraf in March 2007, on various charges pertaining to corruption. According to the reference filed against the chief justice, one of the charges levelled against him was that he allegedly committed misconduct by employing his position to gain undue advantage for his son. The bizarre reference stated that Dr Iftikhar secured an overall C grade in intermediate examinations, which was not sufficient to grant him admission in Bolan Medical College in 1996. It was alleged that the then Chief Minister of Balochistan was approached to nominate Dr Iftikhar for admission against leftover foreign vacant seats/special seats. According to the reference, Dr Iftikhar was appointed as a medical officer at Institute of Public Health, Quetta in 2005. A few days after his initial appointment, the Chief Minister of Balochistan passed an order, which called for Dr Iftikhar's promotion as section officer in the health department. The orders were allegedly given to the then chief secretary of Balochistan who referred the case to Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD), as the authority to approve postings and transfers of secretariat staff.

Ironically, the reference also stated that in August 2005, the Ministry of Interior addressed a letter to the chief secretary of Balochistan regarding Dr Iftikhar's services being required in FIA.

In September 2005, the Ministry of Interior issued a notification to appoint Dr Iftikhar as assistant director in the FIA. In April 2006, Dr Iftikhar was promoted to the position of deputy director in FIA. After being promoted in FIA, it is alleged that a campaign was launched to recruit Dr Iftikhar in the police service.

The reference also mentions that in May 2006, the Ministry of Interior issued a letter to Commandment National Police Academy in Islamabad to attach Dr Iftikhar for field training along with under training ASPs. A few days later the Ministry of Interior issued another letter which stated that after the completion of Dr Iftikhar's training at National Police Academy, the services of the trainee be made available to the Punjab Police.Image 2nd

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Secretariat was allegedly approached to permanently induct Dr Iftikhar as an employee of the Police Service of Pakistan. However, his permanent recruitment required an amendment in the Police Service of Pakistan Rules 1985, which could only be introduced through the President's approval. The authorities claim that the chief justice exerted immense pressure on the Prime Minister Secretariat to ensure his son's permanent induction in the police force.

The aforementioned charges, along with other cases, brought about the suspension of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The charges filed by former President Musharraf were challenged by the chief justice in the Supreme Court of Pakistan as he believed that the Supreme Judicial Council will manoeuvre the judgment according to the President's will. Shortly afterwards, Musharraf imposed emergency in Pakistan, during which chief justice and his family were under house arrest.

It is now being alleged that Dr Iftikhar has accepted up to Rs 400 million in bribe from Bahria Town's Malik Riaz Hussain. It is also alleged that between 2009 and 2011, Hussain sponsored his trips to London with credit cards to be used at his discretion.

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