Arsalan Iftikhar case: Asma voices concern over one-man commission


Leading human rights lawyer and former president of the Supreme Court Bar, Asma Jahangir on Monday said that the officer tasked by the SC to investigate the Arsalan Iftikhar case has close ties with the chief justice’s son and cannot be trusted to conduct a transparent investigation.
Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court premises, Asma alleged the court was not meeting the requirements of delivering justice in the case against Arsalan in the Bahria Town scandal. She also rejected the appointment of Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr Mohammad Shoaib Suddle, the officer tasked by the apex court to investigate the case, after it barred the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from investigating the matter. She alleged that the apex court wanted to influence the investigations, as Suddle is said to have close links with Arsalan.
“The Supreme Court should ask the Scotland Yard to conduct the investigation into Arsalan Iftikhar’s case, if it has no confidence in the national institutions,” she said. Asma pointed out that Suddle also regularly accompanied Arsalan at various events. Therefore, he could not be expected to conduct a transparent investigation into the case.
Asma said Arsalan should, however, be given the benefit of the doubt. But she also reiterated that everyone should be treated equally under the law.
Jahangir alleged that Shoaib Suddle, the investigating officer, is also known to regularly attend Arsalan Iftikhar’s events, adding that he could not be expected to conduct a transparent investigation into the case.
Criticising the court’s decision, Jahangir said that if there were any questions over the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) investigating team, then the team could have been changed instead of changing the whole verdict.
Jahangir expressed her wish that the Supreme Court achieve its exalted status by providing the public with justice, however, she added that there were numerous reservations and question in regard to the Arsalan Iftikhar case.

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