Federal agency to focus on graft investigations
December 08 2019 01:10 AM
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Pakistan
Pakistan

Internews/ Lahore

With the change of command, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan has decided in principle to focus on “income beyond means” investigation against the government officials and bureaucrats.
Although the investigation of “income beyond means” cases falls in the ambit of the FIA, it was not the federal agency’s top priority since the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been actively pursuing such cases.
Since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (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 as director-general this week, it was decided that this “neglected area (income beyond means investigation)” would be a priority.
“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 (north headquarters) Abdul Rab told journalists.
Answering a question on whether the FIA would go after “corrupt” politicians, he said: “No … the FIA will primarily go after the corrupt officials, including its own (the FIA’s).”
Rab said that the FIA also disposed of such and other cases of Punjab zone I and II.
He said that honest officials would be posted to eliminate corruption from the FIA.
As regards the cases of money laundering/hawala and hundi, Rab said that the federal agency would take action against the “big fish” and utilise all its resources.
Similarly, breaking the human smuggling network in Punjab would be one of its priorities, he added.
Asked about the FIA’s action regarding the alleged 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.
“No other action can be initiated if the women in question had gone to China willfully after marrying Chinese men.”
In May, the FIA had launched an investigation against the people involved in the alleged trafficking of Pakistani women to China.



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