Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik. — Photo by APP/File

LAHORE, July 26: The Federal Investigation Agency, which acted with unnecessary haste, after a British tabloid came with a sensational report alleging that fake passports and visas are being issued in Pakistan, and arrested employees of the National Database and Registration Authority and the passport office, now wants to wrap up its investigation quickly to avoid further embarrassment.

The FIA had to eat humble pie when its boss, Adviser to the PM on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik, reportedly directed it to stop ‘arresting and harassing’ the employees of Lahore offices of Nadra and passport office after an ‘investigation’ by Nadra revealed that no illegality had been committed in issuing the computerised national identity card (CNIC) and passport to the man sent to Pakistan by the London tabloid The Sun as an undercover investigator.

“We had no option after the order of our boss but to rush to pick up the staff involved in issuing the CNIC and passport to The Sun’s man, Mohammad Ali Asad,” a senior FIA official told Dawn on Thursday.

The arrests should have been made only after the involvement of any official was proved. “But everyone here in the FIA Lahore was trying to please the boss without concluding the probe,” he said.

The FIA Lahore also showed haste in registering an FIR on the basis of the report in The Sun which the government has now described as ‘false and fabricated’.

“We had to get remand of four officials – Asif, Wasif, Mukhtar and Fahim – of Nadra and the passport office from a magistrate because we had shown their arrest in the case,” he said, adding that since there was no complainant in the case, the FIA should have  demonstrated maturity and made the arrests after completion of the investigation.

“The irony of the matter is that The Sun was a complainant in the case and we had no evidence against them (arrested officials). They will be released on Saturday on completion of their remand because we are not going to pursue it,” said the FIA official who is part of the investigation team.

Meanwhile, officers of the passport offices in Lahore went on medical leave to register their protest against the ‘non-professional approach’ of the interior ministry and FIA.

“How irresponsible our agencies are in investigating such matters?” commented a passport official who had been interrogated by the FIA.

He expressed the hope that in future the investigation agencies would act responsibly on such reports.

“Can the FIA or Rehman Malik do anything to restore our image which was tarnished by the arrests and humiliation,” he asked.

Some Nadra officials who spoke to Dawn on Thursday expressed the same feelings.

The Sun had claimed that the officials first provided its undercover investigator (Asad) with a genuine Pakistani passport in a false name. The information was backed by a video footage of Abid Chaudhry of Dream Land travel agency claiming that for around £7,000 he could get its man a two-month visa… and smuggle him into London as part of Pakistan’s Olympic squad.

Nadra, however, came up with its own investigation and said: “No fraud or illegal activity has been committed while obtaining the CNIC and passport of The Sun’s man – Mohammad Ali Asad, son of Mohammad Anwer Siddique. Documentary and video evidence proves that Mr Asad was present for the renewal of his expired CNIC.”

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Comments (19) Closed

Taj Ali
Jul 27, 2012 07:45am
Malik’s acts prove that he is still British and his loyalty is with British government. Soon as Sun reported the scam, he started jumping like a monkey for his masters in UK. He showed no respect or trust for poor Pakistani employees. He should resign over this, clearly is a case of “fake minster scam”
Irfan Hussain
Jul 27, 2012 05:20pm
I dont blame Rehman Malik too much... when all country is under the war and previous story from News of the World (the same media group) proved to be true afterwards. Malik also has lots of pressures from various matters
Jul 27, 2012 01:00pm
what a mess? again a very great achievement by a doctor "man of peace"
Jul 27, 2012 11:52am
Hay Gaz let me remind u its Islamic republic of Pakistan not democratic republic of Pakistan
Jul 27, 2012 08:53am
Malik's words, actions and deeds are clear proof why Pakistan should not allow dual nationality.
Jul 27, 2012 08:50am
"They will be released on Saturday on completion of their remand"..... Why were they not released the instant that it was found that the scam was itself a scam. That was yesterday.
Malcolm Michael
Jul 27, 2012 05:06pm
Seeing the swearing Ceremony live on National TV of Reman Malik by the President shows that Malik has under his belt something that powers him to reamin where he is. WONDER? What happened to Benazir case Mr.Malik? Truth will prevail .
Gerry D'Cunha
Jul 27, 2012 10:24am
Can Pakistan be called a democratic country? How many ministers have resigned on scandals/killings in their provinces? Has the CM of Sindh held responsibility and resigned for the innocent killings of people in my beautiful city of Karachi? Had this issue been in UK, the Hon.Minister for Home Affairs would have resigned - this is democracy. Shame on Pakistan to be called a democratic country.
Jul 27, 2012 07:33am
The crimes will be covered up if the judiciary and press are not so alert. Liability, should be sacked.
Jul 27, 2012 08:38am
The Sun is owned by the powerful Rupert Murdoch who is very closely knitted with British politicians. Malik cannot offend such personalities when his days in Pakistan are numbered and he has to return to London to rejoin his family soon.
Ishrat salim
Jul 27, 2012 08:44am
Malik sb reportedly rushed to London to pacify his boss even before anything could b proved.....
Jul 27, 2012 06:03am
Look at his face.
Jul 27, 2012 08:59am
The affected employees should file a case against Rehman Malik and interior ministry for defame and false arrest. In any democratic country, that's how it'lll be done. And the courts will provide the complainant a quick redress and hefty restitution to make sure that this behavior will not be repeated by interior ministry and FIA.
Jul 27, 2012 09:18am
We should take this very seriously and the whole Nation should join and ensure that the Govt of Pakistan takes serious notice of wrong accusation by British Tabloid. Nadra is a very responsible Organisation. Looks like our Govt is not serious, anybody can defame them wrongly and they will stay quiet.
Aizaz Moin
Jul 27, 2012 09:25am
Where does he live in UK? I'
Jul 27, 2012 03:05pm
And what is that suppose to mean??? Is he not responsible for the actions of people under his command and control???
Jul 28, 2012 07:20am
Humiliation was justified. The fact is fact. The Sun did something withconfidence. The record found out by Nadra was related to other person. The person in question for whom Id card issued did not exist. The Sun has all tye ebidence. So forget about claim instead keep Quite. Fake cards and passports is normal practice.
Umer Lasi
Jul 28, 2012 04:59am
Why opposition parties within and outside of parliament have not demanded judicial inquiry in the matter and asked for resignation from Rehman Malik for humiliating Pakistani employees on a fake news report of a British tabloid
Jul 28, 2012 08:15am
Ask MI6. To be precise with correct postcode, MI5 is the right organisation to ask this question.