PAC recommends
removal of Javed Iqbal
after Tayyaba Gul’s
serious sexual allegations

0
16

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said on Thursday that it had sent a recommendation to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for the removal of former justice (retired) Javed Iqbal, as the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances.

Justice Javed Iqbal

The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances was established in 2011 and Iqbal, who was also the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) until recently, has been heading it since then.

The development followed Tayyaba Gul’s recent appearance before the committee. In 2019, Gul was involved in a leaked video clip showing alleged clandestine and illicit relations between her and Iqbal.

Gul, and her husband, Mohammad Farooq, were facing inquiries in NAB when the scandal surfaced. Later, NAB had filed a reference against them before an accountability court in Lahore.

Last month, it was reported that she submitted an application with PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan, seeking inquiry against Iqbal, NAB Lahore DG retired Maj Shahzad Saleem and other officials of the bureau for implicating her in a corruption reference.

Tayabba Gul

During today’s meeting, which the former NAB chairman chose to skip, the PAC reviewed the alleged video scandal involving Iqbal.

At the outset of the meeting, Khan asked Gul whether she had filed an application against the former NAB chairman, to which she replied in the affirmative.

Appearing before the PAC, Gul said Iqbal had filed a Rs20 million reference against her. “I was not issued a call-up notice nor was an inquiry conducted,” she said.

Gul went on to say that officials from NAB Lahore arrested her. Two days prior to this, Gul said she had an argument with Iqbal over the phone.

At one point, the PAC chairman inquired about the relationship between Gul and Iqbal. “How was he in direct contact with you?” he asked.

She replied that she had met Iqbal in relation to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances. She went on to say that he “silenced” her at every forum.

Victim Tayyaba Gul

“I was not heard at any stage”. Gul went on to say that 40 first information reports were registered against her while a false reference was also filed. She alleged that the NAB Lahore DG had stripped her naked and filmed her.

My name was placed on the no-fly list, she said, adding that cases were registered against her for stealing coal trucks.

Gul also said that Saleem blackmailed Iqbal with the video he had made of her. “The owner of a private news channel, Tahir A. Khan, and the former prime minister’s principal secretary, Azam Khan, took the videos from me,” she said.

The PAC chairman said that the committee would also listen to Iqbal even though he skipped today’s meeting.

‘Wolves need to be removed from institutions’

Speaking to the media after today’s meeting, the PAC chairman said that the voices of many women are left unheard. He said that public office holders should be stopped from misusing their authority while in office.

“We were shown many laws and were told that the PAC cannot take up this matter,” he said. “Then we showed them the Rules of Procedures and the laws, which state that it is within our scope,” he added.

“A lot of good people work in NAB […] but when wolves enter an institution, they need to be removed and pointed out,” Khan said, adding that Iqbal was being given a chance to appear before the committee.

“If he does not show up again, then I will issue a warrant for Javed Iqbal.”

We have recommended the removal of Iqbal from the post until the matter is decided, he said, adding that proof in the form of videos and pictures was also present.

“I was under a lot of pressure not to expose this matter. We will look into it according to the law. Those who are guilty will be prosecuted,” he said.