ISLAMABAD - There is no sign that Tauqir Sadiq, fugitive former Chairman Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and wanted by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Rs 82 billion corruption cases, would be brought back to Pakistan from United Arab Emirates (UAE) in near future.

The NAB claimed last week that Tauqir Sadiq, the fugitive, was arrested in Abu Dhabi on the orders of a court and legal procedure for his deportation would be completed within 48 hours to bring him back in the country.

Background interviews with some immigration officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigating the corruption cases against the accused indicate that NAB would not be able to get Sadiq deported to Pakistan.

An official of FIA dealing with the immigration matters wishing not to be named said that deportation of a person was the prerogative of the country where he landed and not the country from where he flew. “Thus it would be up to the UAE authorities either they deport Tauqir Sadiq or not,” he added. He further said that if the person travelled on genuine documents and he also had a valid visa of the country where he was staying, the chances of his deportation would always remain rare. On the other hand, the NAB officials dealing with the affairs of the deportation of Sadiq believed that he travelled from Pakistan on genuine documents and he had a valid visa to stay in Abu Dhabi.

NAB claims that Taquir Sadiq could not be extradited from United Arab Emirates (UAE) because no treaty of extradition of prisoners exists between Pakistan and UAE and thinks that he should be deported.

The FIA official said even in the presence of treaty of extradition between the two countries, the accused could not be extradited if a local court of law had not declared him a proclaimed offender and Interpol (International Police) had not issued red warrants for his arrest. He further said that Interpol only used to issue red warrants if the local court had declared the accused proclaimed offender. In the case of Taquir Sadiq, neither the accused is a proclaimed offender declared by any court nor Interpol had issued red warrants for his arrest.

“Even the cancellation of the two passports of Tauqir Sadiq on the directions of FIA, would benefit him a lot,” the official said adding that he could seek asylum in any country on the plea that his country had become hostile towards him and had cancelled his passport. He said foreign countries consider the cancellation of passport by any country as violation of basic human rights and take it as a human rights issue.

NAB spokesman, Zafar Iqbal Khan said the Bureau was making all out efforts to get the fugitive (Tauqir Sadiq) deported from UAE who is at present in the custody of Interpol.  He said that NAB was adopting the speedy mode for getting the custody of a fugitive as was done in Bank of Punjab corruption case (BoP case) where Sh. Afzal and his son were deported from Malaysia. “On the other hand, FIA, being one of the stakeholders looking after the matters relating to Interpol, is pleading for his (Sadiq) extradition,” NAB spokesman said.

NAB is of the opinion that deportation would be a suitable option in this case as the accused has lost his legal right to stay in UAE and his passport has been cancelled by the government of Pakistan, and is in the process of providing required documents to law enforcement agencies in UAE as well as to the Interpol, he added “You might be well aware of the limitations of a requesting state in such cases for deportation of accused from foreign jurisdictions,” Mr Khan told the Nation through an email. He said that Supreme Court agreed to their viewpoint of deportation and the Bureau was in close liaison with Interpol and concerned UAE authorities thru Pakistani Embassy in UAE. “We hope that the fugitive would be soon in Pakistan after being deported by UAE authorities,” he added.

Tauqir Sadiq is accused of misusing of power, embezzling funds and causing Rs82 billion losses to the national exchequer by converting operating income (regular income) of OGRA into non-operating income, relocating several CNG stations and making illegal appointments, etc. SC had declared his appointment as chairman OGRA as illegal and directed the Nab to investigate corruption charges against him.