Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has suspended Interior Secretary Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry and three other Federal Investigation Agency officials for stopping Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and other delegates from boarding a flight to China.
This is the first instance that an interior secretary has been suspended in the country, and sources privy to the issue said the decisions were made during a meeting between Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari.
According to a statement released by Gilani's office, the prime minister took serious note of the incident, which occurred at the Islamabad international airport, in which a FIA official did not allow Mukhtar to board a flight to China without verifying whether his name was on the Exit Control List or not.
The prime minister has also ordered a high-level inquiry into the issue, The Daily Times reports.
It may be noted that the National Accountability Bureau, following the National Reconciliation Ordinance being declared as 'unconstitutional', had asked the Interior Ministry to put the names of 253 beneficiaries of the controversial amnesty law, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, on the ECL.
Meanwhile, NAB Chairman Nawid Ahsan called upon Mukhtar to apologise for the incident.
Mukhtar's spokesman said that during the telephonic conversation, Ahsan admitted that FIA officials on duty at the airport misunderstood the NAB's notification barring various politicians from leaving the country.