ISLAMABAD: A special court in Islamabad on Friday awarded 16 years imprisonment to former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi in the hajj corruption case.

Special Court Judge Islamabad, Malik Nazir Ahmad also awarded 40 years jail term to former director general Hajj Rao Shakeel Ahmad and 16 years to former additional secretary to ministry of religious affairs Aftab Ahmad.

The three convicts were present when the judge announced the short verdict. The convicts were taken into custody by the police.

The FIA had registered a case against the convicts in the Hajj scam.

The convicts have been given the right to appeal against the conviction in high court.
Kazmi said taht he will challenge his conviction in high court as according to him charges against him were ‘baseless’. The hajj corruption scam came to the fore during the PPP regime in 2010.

Not only parliamentarians but also the Saudi government had pointed out irregularities in Hajj arrangements by Pakistani authorities.

The Supreme Court had taken notice of the case after receiving a letter from Saudi Prince Bander Bin Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud who revealed that Pakistani pilgrims were charged more for the residences rented by the ministry near Makkah and Madina.

He said that in the letter that he had irrefutable evidence of corruption in this regard.