FAISALABAD: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) declared the former additional deputy commissioner-general (ADCG) innocent on Jan 30 in a case of issuance of thousands of fake arms licences, but nominated him again in another first information report (FIR) registered on Feb 1.

The inquiry note states that Shahid Nadeem Sheikh (superintendent of arms branch), Basharat Ali, Abdul Rauf, Mian Riaz (former head clerk of DC office), Mohammad Rizwan and Zubair (driver of the DC office) are guilty of receiving bribe for issuing fake arms licences. Regarding the role of ADCG Khalid Farooq Farooka, the report says his role in issuing the fake licences was not found.

Earlier, the ACE registered a case against seven people, including Mr Farooka, for issuing thousands of fake arms licences, on the complaint of Muhammad Munir, of Madinabad. He said one licence number had been issued to three people, whereas a single licence number is to be for one weapon. He said in 2015, the then ADCG recorded all arms licences in one CD. After that the suspects issued about 16,000 licences against a Rs15,000 bribe for each licence, and some of the licences were issued prior to the launch of the licence date.

Mr Farooka questioned the ACE for including his name in the FIR, saying that he was pressurised by many quarters, including one arms dealer, for not clearing licenses. He said he had also offered the inquiry officer that call recording of the arms dealer was available. He said two complainants took up the issue, however, in reality a single person was handling the entire story and none of the complainants ever appeared before him. The DC office and its arms licensing branch, under my supervision, has a very clear understanding that arms licenses, if presented in the branch or in the computerisation office of Nadra, should be minutely examined for clearance and license-holders must be given an opportunity of presenting their perspective, if the licenses presented by them are fake, the officer added.

About his name in the FIR, despite his clearance in the inquiry, he said in such cases the department had to reproduce the submitted application.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2019