The Sajid Majeed Chaudhry issue: EAD underscores need for forming ‘independent’ commission of inquiry
ISLAMABAD: The mystery of Sajid Majeed Chaudhry’s whereabouts and his linkages with Lashkar-e-Taiba is said to have become a bone of contention between Pakistan and Financial Action Task Force (FATF), well informed sources told Business Recorder.
On December 28, 2021, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) briefed the Federal Cabinet that in connection with completion of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan, Pakistan submitted its last report to the FATF in October 2021, followed by a discussion held on the report whereby the issue of death of Sajid Majeed Chaudhry and his linkages with Lashkar-e-Taiba had been brought up.
EAD is of the view that the discussion and the FATF Plenary Report with respect to current status and linkages of Sajid Majeed Chaudhry had necessitated holding of an inquiry.
While Pakistan aimed for the earliest completion of the FATF Action Plan as its international commitment, the issue of the status of Sajid Majeed Chaudhry, dead or alive, and his linkages with Lashkar-e-Taiba were also matters of public importance.
The EAD proposed the following independent Commission of Inquiry under the Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017 (Act IX of 2017) to probe into the matter ;(i) Mr. Justice (R) Abdul Shakoor Paracha- Chairman of the Independent Commission of Inquiry ;(ii) Hamayun Masood Sindhu, PSP’ Director (CTW), FIA- Member and;(iii) Aitezaz Ahmed Goraya, PSP, Director (CTW), NECTA- Member/ Secretary to the Commission.
The terms of Reference of the Commission would be as follows : (i) to ascertain as to whether Sajid Majeed Chaudhry was alive or dead; (ii) to determine through examination of all evidences the linkages of Sajid Majeed Chaudhry with Lashkar-e-Taiba, if any and; (iii) to make any consequential recommendations. The EAD further proposed that for the smooth functioning of the commission estimated budget of Rs.1,500,000/- be allowed for the purposes of the inquiry, which included an amount of Rs.500,000/- as remuneration of the Chairman of the said Commission. The Commission may also be allowed to utilize the offices and avail administrative support of NACTA, Islamabad and the provincial Counter Terrorism Departments and submit its report to the Federal Government within one month of the publication of said notification in the Official Gazette or such extended time as may be allowed by the Federal Government.
The Cabinet has approved the proposal of summary for constitution of Inquiry Commission to reach a conclusion on the whereabouts of Mr. Chaudhry.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021