ISLAMABAD: In response to Asif Ali Zardari's claim about the the FIA's 'mistreatment' of the PPP, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Wednesday that he is ready for a judicial commission to probe the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) role and activities during the past two-and-a-half years.
Read more: Sharif threatens to clip NAB’s wings
The statement issued by the Ministry of Interior on behalf of Chaudhry Nisar said, "I can confirm that during my tenure, I have not used the FIA for political, illegal, or personal means, nor permitted the influence of any external or foreign pressure."
"I have emphasised in my meetings that the staff are not servants of the government, but of the state."
The statement added, "I am not concerned with how the FIA was run by previous governments, but I have striven with a clean heart to build the FIA into a non-political and professional investigative institution. The FIA's anti-corruption activities have caused a benefit of Rs14.6 billion to the state during the past two years, whereas in previous years this amount was only a few million."
"Despite this, I believe that there is still much left to do, and the FIA does need to be cleaned from within. But there is one thing I would like Asif Zardari and others to understand, as long as I am Interior Minister, the FIA will not be used against innocents or for political means."
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a press conference Tuesday warned graft body NAB to "act carefully or get ready for clipping of its wings".
Addressing newly-elected local government representatives of PML-N in Bahawalpur, Nawaz Sharif said, “The NAB is harassing government officers. They (bureaucrats) are afraid of taking decisions (signing of files of different projects) because of the NAB harassment. The NAB terrifies the government officers, hindering them from performing their duty.”
He further said the NAB officials entered the houses and offices of “innocent people” without verifying the authenticity of corruption or other charges.
Sounding categorical on his future course of action, PM Sharif said: “I have brought the matter to the notice of the NAB chairman a couple of times. He should take notice. Otherwise, the government will take legal action in this regard.”
The prime minister’s body language and tone clearly suggested that all is not well between his government and NAB and also indicated that the government was considering amending the law if NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry does not address his reservations.
PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari had reacted to premier Nawaz Sharif's statement saying that the FIA was treating the PPP along the same lines as the National Accountability Bureau was treating the PML-N.
“Mian Sahib, not only NAB but your FIA is also doing the same job. Dr Asim is not involved in corruption, and one of your ministers has also conceded this,” he said in a statement.