An internal investigation by market regulator of Pakistan, Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), revealed how an additional director was involved in illegally searching data which was later made public from India and US to malign Chairman of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority.

The illegal activity by SECP Additional Director Arsalan Zafar, pertained to National identity cards of family members of former Commander Southern Command of Pakistan Army, Lt Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa.

On Wednesday, Arshad Sharif on AryNews brought shocking facts that might disturb top business-men of the country. As per Sharif, the story began on 21st of July 2020 when Arsalan Zaffar Hijazi an employee of SECP working as Additional Director Market Survilance accessed the data-base of SECP and made some searches. Arsalan Zaffar Hijazi searched some 11 CNIC numbers out of which 7 belonged to the family of Lt. Gen. (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa. After searching with the CNIC, Arsalan then started putting in the names of companies which came after the search of CNIC and in the end searched with the names of family members. Arsalan Hijazi also searched for the same companies on 22nd and 23rd of July.

As per the sequence of events given by Arshad Sharif on AryNews, Arsalan Zaffar Hijazi working as Additional Director Marketing Survilance deals with Stock market and as his role has access to all the data of SECP including gate-way of NADRA so he can search peoples family tree and other information in NADRA data base as well. That is how he ended up finding all the relevant information regarding Bajwas family. Arshad Sharif also went on to explain that while submitting a company name to SECP, paying a fee enables you to get documents of the said company but there is no way any SECP employee can run a CNIC based search and gather information regarding individuals.

Ahmad Noorani on his website FactFocus also claims that he started making photographic copies of SECP website on 21st of July, where as per details and documents shown by Arshad Sharif on AryNews show that it was Mr. Arsalan Zaffar Hijazi running illegal and unauthorized searches and taking screenshots of the data

Futher in the story Arshad Sharif explains that Indian retired Major Gaurav Arya did a vlog on the information, reffering to one company BAJCO and the same was searched by Mr. Arsalan Zaffar on 21st of July, so an Indian revealing information that was searched by Arsalan Zaffar on 21st July raises some serious question marks on the security of private and sensitive data.

SECP sources also disclosed that Ahmad Noorani who claims to have been making photographic copies of the SECP data and has certified true copies of the companies never contacted SECP for the copies and it was another journalist working for Jang Group/The News who contacted SECP for the said certified true copies. As per Arshad Sharif, Fakhar Durrani is the reporter of The News who contacted SECP and seeked certified true copies of a few companies. He was guided by SECP on how to procure them as per SOP upon which on 28th July 2020 Fakhar Durrani sent a female named Ammara to submit fee of challan for documents.

The documents were given to the same from SECP companies registrar office on 30th of July 2020. As per details shared by Arshad Sahrif, no contact was made by Ahmad Noorani with the SECP regarding any information or seeking any version of SECP regarding the story.

On 27th August, the story was published by Ahmad Noorani and on 28th August, Chairman SECP Amir Khan formed a fact finding comittee into the claims of Ahmad Noorani as to someone deleted the data from SECP. Initial report was presented to Chairman SECP on 10th September where it was told that Arsalan Zaffar Hijazi ran un-authorized searches into the data base and leaked the data. On the same day, Arsalan Zaffar was sent on a forced leave and a high level inquiry was formed to look into the matter. Arsalan Zaffar’s laptop was confiscated but it provided little help as he had already deleted all the data in the machine.

The final report of inquiry comittee is awaited but there are already a lot of questions on how the data was stolen, how it ended up with an Indian and why a PMLN appointee is running searches into the data base of SECP.

Faisal Vawda, Federal Minister for Water Resources raised some serious questions, terming it a nexus of Jang Group, PMLN and India.

Faisal Vawda also tweeted saying we will be taking action against who leaked the data and against this nexus of India, Jang Group and PMLN.

Senior Journalist Kamran Khan also tweeted, terming it a national security issue and shared his infromation after talking to what he termed as senior security officials of the country.

As per Kamran Khan, this is an Indian attempt to target CPEC and a serious action is planned in this regard while security agencies have already accquired evidence regarding this data leakage.

Sources with the SECP have disclosed that earlier information regarding Companies Ordinance 2020 even before the ordinance was promulgated was sent out to PMLN Senator and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who then wrote an article on the same. As per SECP sources the inquiry will be sent to FIA along with recommendations while Government is also looking into PMLN appointees within organisations who are leaking sensitive information which is now being sold to other countries as well.