FIA to shift its focus to corruption cases under new command

Updated December 07, 2019

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With the change of command, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided in principle to focus on income beyond means investigation against the government officials/bureaucrats.  — FIA Facebook
With the change of command, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided in principle to focus on income beyond means investigation against the government officials/bureaucrats. — FIA Facebook

LAHORE: With the change of command, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided in principle to focus on income beyond means investigation against the government officials/bureaucrats.

Although the income beyond means investigation falls in the ambit of the FIA, it was not the top priority of the agency since the National Accountability Bureau has been actively pursuing such cases.

Since the PTI came to power 15 months ago, the NAB has been vigorously pursuing cases of assets disproportionate to known sources of income against politicians, mostly of the opposition and bureaucrats having association with the previous government.

As Wajid Zia took charge of the FIA director general this week, it decided to make this ‘neglected area (income beyond means investigation)’ one of the main priorities.

“We have decided to actively pursue cases of income beyond means against officials of different departments. It falls in the ambit of the FIA but it was not actively pursuing it earlier,” FIA Director (headquarters north) Abdul Rab who assumed Punjab director charge this week, told a group of journalists here on Friday.

Answering a question whether the FIA would go after the ‘corrupt’ politicians, Abdul Rab said: “No... FIA will primarily go after the corrupt officials including its own (FIA).” He said the FIA also disposed of such and other cases of Punjab zone I & II. He said honest officials would be posted to eliminate corruption from the FIA.

As regards the money laundering/hawala and hundi cases, he said the FIA would launch an action against the big fish and utilise all its resources. Similarly, breaking the human smuggling network in Punjab would be one of its top priorities, he added.

Asked about the FIA’s action regarding trafficking of more than 600 Pakistani brides to China, the FIA director said: “The agency had taken action on a few complaints of (harassment and torture) of Pakistani women by their Chinese husbands. And no other action can be initiated if the women in question had gone to China willfully after marrying the Chinese men.”

In May last, the FIA had launched investigation against the people involved in the alleged trafficking of Pakistani women to China and made arrests.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2019