ISI and IB to be Part of Operation Cleanup in FIA, Chaudhry Nisar
The country’s top security official wants to cleanse the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of corruption and a committee comprising of senior officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) has been formed for the purpose.
“I will start a cleanup operation in the FIA to weed out corrupt elements,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a news briefing on Sunday. “I had asked FIA’s director general to form a committee,” he said, adding that he had also requested DG ISI and DG IB to nominate their representatives for the committee.
“The committee has been constituted and it will convene within a few days,” Nisar said. However, he assured the move would not result in a ‘witch-hunt’. He said those found guilty of corruption would remain in service and receive salaries or, if on deputation, they would be sent back to their parent departments, but they would not be allowed to play any role in the agency.
Ostensibly perturbed by the slow pace of investigation into the country’s mega financial scandals, the interior minister said he would go public with the records of the multibillion-rupee scams if the FIA failed to make any headway within 75 days.
On April 23, Nisar had given the FIA a 90-day ultimatum to catch all ‘big fish’ involved in big scandals or else he would shut down the agency.
“Only 75 days are left [for the FIA] now. If there is no development in the investigation into the mega scandals, I will make the inquiry records public,” he said on Sunday. “That way people can see the real faces behind these scams,” the minister added. He vowed to take the cases to their ‘logical conclusion’.
Nisar also announced a new policy for the Exit Control List (ECL), saying no individual would be placed on the list for more than a year while those already mentioned there would remain for no more than three years. He said no one’s name would be placed on the ECL without a court order, adding that not a single name was placed on the list on political grounds under the PML-N government.
The minister also underscored the need to standardise weapon licences in the country. “We want to put in place a system with the help of NADRA [National Database and Registration Authority] to verify licences already issued and ensure new ones are issued only after their need has been established [by applicants],” he said while announcing that licences which are not revalidated by the yearend will expire on January 1, 2016.
Nisar told reporters he had imposed a ban on issuance of new arms licences after he took charge of the interior ministry, but Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan revoked it. Currently, the ban is effective only in Punjab, he said, adding that the federal government will urge the other provinces to reenact the ban.
He revealed that the authorities have found more than 4,500 licences to be forged. About new licences, Nisar said they would not be issued to anyone younger than 25. Prohibited bore licences will only be issued to those who face serious threats to their lives. Whether or not someone faces a serious threat will be assessed by a special committee.
Responding to a question about NADRA’s report on the NA-122 constituency, he said that even though only the court had the power to decide on the matter of rigging, a media trial was taking place in the country. He said the tribunals should give a ‘shut-up call’ to certain political figures as neither NADRA nor the media could decide such election matters.
He added that while thumb impressions on more than 93,000 votes could not be verified, the CNIC numbers on the unverified ballots were genuine and all counterfoils belonged to the NA-122 constituency. Responding to a question regarding the 2010 murder of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, Nisar said the report of the joint investigation team (JIT) had been completed and soon everybody would know about it.
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