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article imageOp-Ed: Pakistani NAB refuses to arrest PM, official found dead

By Ken Hanly     Jan 18, 2013 in Politics
Islamabad - The NAB, National Accountability Board, has refused to carry out the order to arrest PM Raja Ashraf on corruption charges. The Board said that there was not enough evidence to justify the arrest. An official working on the case was found dead today.
Kamran Faisal, an official who was involved in investigating the corruption case against Pakistan PM Raja Ashraf, has been found dead. Reports say that he was found hanged in the hostel where he lived with colleagues in Islamabad. Police said that it appeared that Faisal had hanged himself but that an autopsy would be carried out.
Islamabad police chief, Bani Amin, said:"We are investigating from different angles... We will establish an opinion after the autopsy."
An associate said that Faisal had been under severe stress of late. He played a major role in the investigation of the Ashraf case but he and another senior officer were removed from the case early this month.
The Supreme Court had ordered the arrest of Ashraf on Tuesday. However, in Pakistan, ordering someone to be arrested is one thing, arresting them quite another. Ashraf still is free. Fasih Bokhari, head of the NAB refused to carry out the arrest order on the grounds there was not enough evidence to arrest him. He also claimed that the investigation in the 2010 affair over power projects was not completed, that it took time to gather the evidence. Chief Justice Chaudry was not impressed and ordered Bokhari back in 15 minutes with the case files, so that the court itself could collect evidence to form the basis for a prosecution.
The government was able to fend off another challenge as well, when it was able to reach a deal with Tahirul Qadri, a cleric and politician, who led huge protests against the government. The government agreed to dissolve parliament before the 16th of March. Qadri wants a caretaker government that would be set up through consultation with the military and judiciary after the parliament dissolves. The caretaker group would implement key reforms including the setting up of a new election commission and the banning of corrupt candidates.
Qadri's campaign is well funded. Some suspect he is supported by the military. The main opposition party has refused to join his campaign.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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