Would-be minister faces serious charges, denies them 

Tariq Butt
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 

ISLAMABAD: A PPP MNA from Sindh, whose name is included among leading hopefuls for induction into the federal cabinet, is accused of having an “elaborate criminal record” but he vehemently denies it, saying the campaign launched by his political opponents is meant to defame him and block his elevation.

“The family of Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro is behind the campaign,” MNA Ejaz Jakhrani from Jacobabad told The News and refuted all the serious allegations, including murder, kidnapping for ransom, flour smuggling, land grabbing and extortion.

In the February general elections, Jhakrani defeated Fahd Malik, son of Soomro’s sister, Maleeha, who is married to an influential person of the famous and wealthy Malik family of Gujar Khan, settled in Islamabad.

Soomro’s mother, Begum Saeeda who, as Jacobabad Nazim, is facing a no-confidence motion, levelled extremely serious allegations against Jhakrani. She told The News that he recently bought a bungalow in Islamabad for Rs 40 million that he gifted to a powerful lady connected to the government. She did not name the mighty woman. Another female of the same family hurled the same allegation at Jakhrani.

Official documents available with this correspondent showed that Jhakrani was named in a murder case of a member of the Hindu family. Jakhrani admitted that his name was included in the FIR but was excluded later during the police investigation for lack of proof.

In a comprehensive report of Dec 12, 2007, Jacobabad District Police Officer (DPO) Munir Ahmed Khuhro sought permission of the then-Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh to re-open the murder case against Jhakrani.

“... the undersigned would like to draw your kind attention towards crime history of Jacobabad Taluka contained with notorious offences, assassinations, threats, ransom kidnapping, robberies, dacoities, road/street crimes and much more various misdeeds by the persons of mostly Jakhrani tribes, whom (sic) network operating by the very prominent personality Mir Ahmed Nawaz, Babal Khan Jakhrani and his son Mir Ejaz Ali Khan Jakhrani ...”

The report said in 2002, a well-known person, president of Hindu Panchait, Sudham Chand Chawala, was assassinated by Ejaz Jakhrani himself, who had fired four bullets to kill him as mentioned in the case crime No: 08/2002 under section 302 registered at the police station city, Jacobabad. Because of the scare, the family of the deceased and a large number of Hindu families migrated to India, it said.

The report attached a list of more than 300 “criminals” led by Jakhrani whom the DPO wanted to arrest before the last general elections. When contacted by The News, the incumbent DPO, Saqib Memon, expressed ignorance about any such report having been submitted to the IGP by his predecessor. He did not know its fate. However, he said he would have to see the record but believed that the murder case could not be re-opened.

Ejaz Jakhrani told The News that the previous DPO was a hand-picked man of the Soomro family, who was given two instant out-of-turn promotions from inspector and made incharge of the Jacobabad district. Khuhro was not available for comments.

Another report prepared by Manzoor Ali Awan, Member-III, Chief Minister’s Inspection team, listed gross embezzlement and irregularities of funds and land of the Taluka Nazim, who was Jakhrani’s close relative. On Jan 24, 2008, a reference based on this inquiry report was also sent to the National Accountability Bureau with the approval of the Sindh chief minister.

Begum Saeeda told this correspondent that Jakhrani had committed murders. Recently, she said, he collected over Rs 20 million as extortion money from the participants of a festival of Hindu women. He has been selling even government buildings and involved in flour smuggling.

The lady said the present Jacobabad DPO would not speak truth because he had been installed there by Jakhrani. She charged that Jakhrani was playing havoc with the provincial departments in Jacobabad and collecting money from applicants for their recruitment. But Begum Saeeda said President Asif Ali Zardari was a nice man, who was not involved in any shady dealings being perpetrated by Jakhrani.

However, Jakhrani named Maleeha Malik and the family of the Senate chairman for maligning him at a time when he was likely to be made a federal minister. He said he contested the 2002 and 2008 general elections and all charges this family had levelled against him were set aside. He said in 2002, he had defeated Elahi Bux Soomro.

Jakhrani said the allegation that he was a loan defaulter was also wrong. He said whatever loan liabilities he had, he had shown in his assets statement filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

A PPP delegation of Larkana division that met President Zardari on Monday for more than two hours also spoke against Jakhrani and accused him of “selling” government employments for hefty money, a source said. However, Aslam Abro, President, PPP, Jacobabad, who was included in the delegation, said they discussed the organiSational matters of the party.