Govt allows FIA to arrest Shaukat Tarin for sabotaging IMF talks

The government has allowed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest former finance minister Shaukat Tarin on charges of sedition for allegedly sabotaging talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Sunday.

“Inquiry against Shaukat Tarin has been completed and the government has allowed the FIA to arrest him,” the interior minister said while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

Sanaullah said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan had been running a campaign to create political and economic instability in the country since being ousted from power.

“For this purpose he [Imran Khan] misled Shaukat Tarin, who is apparently an innocent person. He [Tarin] fell into his trap and committed an act which could have caused immense damage to the country,” he said.

The investigative agency had sought the initiation of criminal proceedings on sedition and other charges against the former financial czar in connection with the audio clips wherein he allegedly attempted to employ ‘hardball tactics’ to thrust the crucial loan programme into “jeopardy”.


FIA’s cybercrime zone had sought the government’s permission for a special complaint under section 196 (prosecution for offences against the state) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for obtaining cognizance of offences under section 124-A (sedition) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) in an enquiry pertaining to audio leaks pending against Tarin.

The details emerged in a letter written to the interior ministry by FIA cybercrime assistant director Ayaz Khan.

In the letter, the official stated that the audio was shared on social media. “Mr Shaukat Tarin has been communicating with the Minister for Finance, KPK and Minister of Finance, Punjab to write letters to federal government that surplus amount will not be refunded to federal government while the terms for cooperation are being finalised between the government of Pakistan and IMF.”

In addition, the FIA cybercrime assistant director stated, “the purpose of urging Mr Shaukat Tarin to the provincial ministers was to stall negotiations with IMF which is a matter of national interest and security.” In order to proceed further, he said, the law requires a complaint from the “appropriate government” under section 196 of CrPC.


Sanaullah, in Sunday’s press conference, said the FIA had been given permission to arrest the former finance minister.

The interior minister said the former finance minister should be punished for attempting to sabotage the IMF deal “so that so that no one could dare to commit such crime in future”.

Sanaullah alleged that PTI chief Imran Khan tried his best to plunge the country into default “but he failed and, despite all of this, the government is close to striking a deal with the IMF”.

The interior minister said the ruling alliance was ready to contest general elections in October this year.

“But elections are not the solution to the prevailing economic and security challenges.”

Sanaullah said that Imran had been demanding early elections and wanted to topple the incumbent government “because he knows that he will be disqualified and arrested in the ongoing cases against him”.

Speaking about the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision on holding elections for the Punjab Assembly’s vacant seats within 90 days, the minister said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will submit its response in view of the current situation following its meeting tomorrow.

“Maryam Nawaz has already started election campaign. We are ready to contest elections whenever they are held.”


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