A wake up call for Interior Ministry

(Syed Fawad Ali Shah, )

Government job is always something very attractive for our educated youth since long. Every person graduating from a college or university is desirous of getting a government job preferably in a lucrative department. There are many filters while recruiting a person to any public office but unfortunately after induction of a person in government employment, there is no system while promoting or transferring a public servant. In recent years many Public servants were found involved in illegal activities such corruption, corrupt practices, misuse of authority and even terrorism. The main reason being there is no mechanism to keep a check on their inside and outside office activities. Although armed forces have a strong system but civilian offices lack it. There is a complete lack of coordination even among the government offices. Due to this communication gap, even officer of one department can easily take undue advantage of its position by deceiving and misleading the officer of other departments. Taking example of Ministry of interior will show that many government officials are able to get passport without disclosing their official position. Many public servants of attached organs of Interior Ministry acquire long leave in the name of studying inside Pakistan but after availing the same they immediately go abroad for some business or pleasure trip. Due to this lack of coordination within different strata of interior ministry , many public servants are able to acquire dual nationality easily. Similarly inquiries and investigations are pending against a government officer under this ministry in a law enforcement agency but his own department remains completely ignorant of it. Even officers are convicted by courts of law yet they keep enjoying their official perks and privileges.Such officers get lucrative postings and even get promotions by evading the due process. The strange phenomenon is that of the Federal Investigation Agency under Ministry of Interior. Here one FIA circle is conducting enquiry against its own officer yet the same officer might be heading another important circle of FIA. The most alarming part is the issue of FIA promotions. The persons with tainted record are not only considered for promotion but even assigned lucrative postings as well. Interestingly the policy makers at the FIA headquarters are so strong that they don't even bother to inform the ministry of interior regarding the departmental proceedings pending against some of FIA's notorious officers. The promotion board for inspector to Assistant Director is going to be held this week in the ministry of interior. There are some inspectors against whom departmental inquiries are pending at the orders and instructions of courts and even Senate's Standing Committee on interior. But some FIA high ups are so bold that they have deliberately concealed this fact from the promotion board. One can imagine that such corrupt officers will become more brave after getting promotion. Its an established government policy to suspend an officer under enquiry so that he cannot misuse his official position to influence the ongoing proceedings. On one hand such corrupt officers are being facilitated while on the other hand some FIA officers are being grilled simply for not obeying the illegal commands of their high ups. Prominent officers like Bilal Aslam, Rizwan Aslam, Afzal Niazi, Mian Sabir and many others have been sidelined for last couple of years for no good reason. But here the name of one Assistant Director FIA Mr. ShahidIlyas Khan is worthy to mention who is not only a well educated and competent person but also an honest and upright officer. He is a shining star of FIA who remained the first ever incharge of Pakistan’s foremost cyber crime police station. The gentleman has many achievements to his credit such as arresting the notorious human trafficker Moula Bakhsh Irani who was involved in sending thousands of illegal immigrants through Pak-Iran border. But in my opinion his biggest achievement so far is playing an active role in the Joint Investigation Team of famous Mashal Khan Public Lynching case occurred in 2017 at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan. I'm personally witness to his day and night efforts for ensuring justice to that devastated family of Mashal Khan against all odds. Unfortunately it was some unscrupulous elements in FIA who played a dirty role by maligning his career through fabricated and concocted allegations. Mr. ShahidIlyas Khan is not only a man of action but a man of letter as well. His articles are being published by renowned national and international newspapers and magazines including famous websites. But instead of taking advantage of his literary and investigative skills, this great talent is being pushed into oblivion. There seems dual standards for different officers within FIA. Luckily both the incumbent Interior Minister Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah and Secretary Interior Major (R) Azam Suleiman are very honest and dedicated persons. It is hoped that they will take notice of the illegalities going on in FIA. They must devise some scrutiny mechanism at the ministry level to counter the nepotism and favoritism pursued by FIA while recommending officers for posting and promotion. Because FIA needs a massive operation clean up within its ranks. The main slogan of transparency and corruption free Pakistan seems in doldrums at FIA. The Interior Minister Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah should review that how many officers and officials spend their entire service on one station although the very structure of FIA is entirely federal. The officers of one province should be posted to other provinces as well. Moreover a centralized database should be maintained at the ministry level to check the track record of posting, transfer and promotion of all FIA officers. Only this way FIA can be purged of any nepotism and favouritism.
The writer is a senior Journalist He can be reachedat [email protected] Mobile No, +60109301521


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