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Former ISI chief being investigated for corruption: Sanaullah

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Former spy chief retired Lt-Gen Faiz Hamid is being investigated for alleged corruption, according to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, while his party leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif has called for the retired general’s court-martial over his alleged role in destabilizing her father’s government and implicating both she and Nawaz Sharif in NAB cases.

Meanwhile, Gen Hamid appeared to break his silence on the new wave of allegations levelled against him by the PML-N in general and Ms. Sharif in particular when he told a journalist that the army chief is the one who makes military decisions.

The interior minister stated at a press conference on Wednesday that an investigation was underway against the ex-Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief and his brother for alleged corruption and amassing assets beyond means. However, he stated that further comment would be premature at this time.

When it was pointed out that any investigation into assets beyond means would fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the law minister stated that one was already underway.

Maryam demands a court martial for retired Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, claiming that the COAS, not him, was “calling the shots.”

“When something comes to light, you will be notified,” he told the questioner.

Separately, in an interview, Ms. Sharif demanded harsh punishment for the former ISI DG’s role in her and her father’s convictions in NAB corruption cases in 2017.

Unlike her arch-rival Imran Khan, who is demanding that the previous army chief be court-martialed, Ms. Sharif stopped short of seeking any major punitive action against retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, saying that she only wanted to make an example of Gen Hamid at this time.

“I had spoken against Gen Hamid in court when he was the sitting ISI chief for his alleged involvement in getting me and Nawaz Sharif punished. “I had evidence against him,” she said, referring to former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s claims that the spy agency tried to persuade him to rule in their favor.

When asked to comment on the PML-N leader’s demand for Gen Hamid to face a court martial for alleged unconstitutional behavior, Rana Sanaullah said it was a matter for GHQ to decide.

“Politicians make demands and express their point of view,” he explained, adding that a court-martial of a former military officer is not within the jurisdiction of civil authorities.

Later, senior journalist Kamran Khan claimed in a tweet that the former ISI chief had reached out to him and responded to Ms. Sharif’s allegations.

According to the journalist, Gen Hamid claimed that in 2017-18, he was only a major general in the army and questioned whether a single officer could topple the government under military discipline.

Dissatisfied with uncle Shehbaz?

During the interview, Ms. Nawaz also discussed her arrest from Lahore airport in 2018, saying she still had regrets about a rally led by her uncle, incumbent PM Shehbaz Sharif, not arriving in time before she and her father were arrested.

When asked who her party’s choice for prime minister and finance minister would be if they won the next general election, Ms. Sharif smiled but did not respond.

In February, she openly rejected the mini-budget’ introduced by the PML-N-led government at the Centre, declaring, “This coalition government of nine parties is not our government.”

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