Rangers, NAB not cooperating with police, NA panel told



By Staff Reporter

KARACHI: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting has expressed its displeasure over the absence of the Interior Secretary at the meeting held in connection with Dr Asim Husain’s video leakage that was aired on TV channels on June 15, 2016. The Secretary was warned of legal action if he did not show up at the next meeting of the committee on 26th September. The sub-committee met in Islamabad with its convener Imran Leghari of the PPP in the chair. The body was informed that the NAB and Rangers were not cooperating with Sindh police in an inquiry related to leaks of testimony of under trial prisoners. Additional Inspector General Sindh Sanaullah Abbasi and Deputy IG Dr Kamran Fazal informed the meeting that their department had nothing to do with the leaked videos. Officials of the interior ministry said Sindh Rangers were not responding to the queries in this regard. The response infuriated the convener of the sub-committee, Imran Leghari and Talal Chaudhry. An official of the Interior Ministry said they had written a letter to the director general of Sindh Rangers and a reply was awaited. DIG Kamran said two investigation officers of the police had given statements on oath that they had not recorded any video of former minister Dr Asim Husain during his 16-day remand. Abbasi told the panel that police had written a letter to Rangers and NAB, asking if they had recorded any video statement of Dr Asim during the period he was in their custody. “No reply has been received yet either from the Rangers or NAB on the issue,” he said. Dr Kamran said Sindh police had filed an application in a court, seeking access to Dr Asim to ascertain when and where the leaked video had been recorded. He said the next date of hearing of the case was Sept 17 and expressed the confidence that the court would grant the police permission to interview Dr Asim to investigate the matter. “The main issue is why we do have such leaks related only to political persons,” Leghari regretted. When Talal Chaudhry asked if the video recordings of the accused were a legal requirement or they had been made illegally, the police officials did not reply. The Sindh police were directed to submit a detailed report on the issue on Sept 26. Leghari said that the committee would write letters to NAB and Rangers for cooperation with Sindh police in the case, otherwise it would take action under the rules against the interior secretary. Talal Chaudhry said that the police was asked to inform the committee if video recording of the accused was legal requirement or the videos made were illegal. He said that the police should present the interim report till finalization of the report. He said that the government did not want to impose any restriction on the freedom of expression but it seems that the owners of media houses are not interested in implementation of the code of conduct and their responsibilities related to their employees. The meeting was attended by Additional Secretary Home Department Sindh government, Mohsin Shah, Additional IG Sindh Police Sanaullah Abbasi.