Top officials hushing up corruption cases Worth Billions
President, Prime Minister Behind Corruption
By Tariq Khattak
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday rejected the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) report on the Hajj corruption scam and ordered the removal of the Director General FIA to be within three days.
Chief Justicesaid that the DG FIA, Waseem Ahmed, was not allowing a transparent investigation in mega corruption scams. The court ordered the federation’s counsel, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, to get a notification for the removal of bureaucrat who is already serving on contract basis after retirement.
Pirzada told the court that nine of the fourteen contractual employees have been dismissed. The hearing was adjourned for two weeks by the court.
A month back, the apex court had asked the government to terminate the contracts of fifteen officers, including FIA DG Waseem Ahmad, IG Sindh Salahuddin Babar Khattak, three federal secretaries and one additional secretary last week.
The FIA is probing into an embezzlement of millions of rupees in Hajj affairs, the crossfire over which provoked Prime Minister Yousafinto axing two federal ministers from the cabinet.
The corruption and irregularities in the Hajj scam which had put an extra burden of Rs35,000 on each pilgrim this year and led to the sacking of former federal minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi and Azam Swati has sent ripple effects through the political landscape of the country ending up in the JUI-F quiting from the coalition.
A Saudi prince had previously written a letter claiming that Pakistani government officials had refused his offer of a cheaper place of accommodation, opting instead for a more expensive residential area. The Chief Justice had taken suo moto notice of the case, hearings of which continue to this day.
It was earlier reported in allvoices on Jan 20th that the Supreme Court took stern note of employment of increasing number of retired officials on key posts on contract basis.
The Apex court asked government to furnish lists of all such contact officers serving in police and Federal Investigations Agency (FIA).
Responding to the directions of the Supreme Court, the government has asked Establishment Division to provide updated lists to the court.
The officers serving in establishment branches of police and FIA have provided all the details to the concerned quarters in the Establishment Division.
There are many retired police officers serving against key posts that are not concerned about their ACRs, inquiries, disciplinary action or any major or minor punishment, sources said. In fact, no proper action can be taken against contract employees under the law except termination of contract.
Lack of accountability is something that allows such retired officers to play with the law on the behest of their masters, sources said adding that it is a major cause of heartburn and lack of interest among permanent officers.
It is expected that all the contract employees would be relieved by the Supreme Court soon. These include the incumbent Director General FIA Waseem Ahmed who retired on January 5, this year but was given extension by the political government.
Insiders say that there are three officers which can replace him. These include Zafrullah Khan, Chief of NACTA, Wajid Durrani, Additional IGP, Punjab and Jaweed Bukhari, Additional DG, FIA.
All of these officers belongs to Police Service of Pakistan group.
It was also reported in the allvoices on Dec 21 that the Federal Interior Minister AMalik has taken strict note of media reports about mismanagement in the affairs of Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) and asked the authorities to submit a report within three days.
The Director General, FIA Wasim Ahmed has been asked to furnish a detailed report about developments in the escape of Hamesh Khan and unprofessional conduct in the affairs of FIA, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, sources confirmed.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court has time and again questioned motives and findings of the FIA while directing it follow law and keep the national interests supreme.
Many recent developments have put a question mark on the credibility of the premier law enforcing agency, insiders said.
In past two former director generals of the FIA -- Tariq Khosa and his successor Zafarullah Khan, who once enjoyed cordial relations with the government, were removed unceremoniously.
Recently two field officers – Director FIA Islamabad Tariq Hanif Joya and Director FIA Peshawar Fasihuddin were also removed without any complaint, inquiry, or charges. They were not informed of reason behind removal or given a chance to defend themselves. Interestingly Khosa and Joya were removed during holidays.
Actions were also taken against Additional DG Ch. Sajjad and Director FIA Lahore Zafar Iqbal Qureshi removed but they managed to survive. Sajjad was rescued by PM while Qureshi made it through his brother.
Sources said that the Cabinet Division have taken strong note of the situation as defending rights of officers is among their defined responsibilities.
Insiders say that the Administration Wing in the FIA is manoeuvring things, interfering in everything including critical matters which has raised fears. The wing is so influential that he would reinstate officials suspended by Interior Minister.
One of the officials in the administration wing, Mr. Inam Ghani has a long record of troubles. During his posting as SSP Haripur, an incident took place between police, FC and timber mafia which resulted in some deaths but he managed to make an FC official the escape goat.
While serving as SSP Peshawar, Ghani he was removed by the then IGP Riffat Pasha when he tried to sell cardimon (lachis) worth million that were recovered in an anti-smuggling operation. However, further proceedings were stopped despite the fact that the then CCPO Peshawar Mr. Tanvirul Haq Sipra found him guilty during inquiry.
He was serving as Director FIA when a faulty probe report into Hamesh Khan’s escape was submitted in court that was rejected by the judge, officials in the FIA said.