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PAC seeks details of steps taken to stop dollar smuggling

By Asim Yasin
February 09, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The issue of dollars smuggling into Afghanistan echoed on Wednesday in the Public Accounts Committee, which sought details of steps taken to stop smuggling of dollars from Pak-Afghan border. It asked how many crackdown operations against dollar smugglers had been done and how many caught so far.

The Public Accounts Committee’s meeting was held under Chairman Noor Alam Khan in which audit paras related to the Ministry of Interior and its attached departments for the financial year 2021-22 and appropriation accounts of financial year 2020-21 were examined.

It was revealed that three bomb-proof vehicles used by Blackwater were available for sale in market in Pakistan. The PAC sought a report from the Interior Secretary about this.The interior secretary said a bomb-proof vehicle cannot be sold in the market without permission. The PAC ordered an investigation into the marketing of bomb-proof vehicles used by Blackwater.

While raising the issue of snuggling of dollars to Afghanistan, Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan asked from the interior ministry for taking the issue of smuggling seriously.

PAC member Senator Shibli Faraz asked if anyone had been caught so far for smuggling or only PTI legislators were being caught. He said details should be provided to the committee that how many dollars had been seized so far. “Other things are also being smuggled from Afghanistan to Pakistan and their details should also be provided,” he said.

Senator Shibli Faraz also asked the Interior Ministry to tell the committee that how many Afghans had been issued cards. The secretary Interior Ministry told the committee that the PAC will be informed after taking details from the FIA.

During the meeting, the PAC expressed strong annoyance over the absence of the IGFC Khyber Pukhtunkhwa from the meeting. Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan asked why do heads of institutions not come to the meeting. “If they cannot work, then they should leave their positions.”

Interior Secretary Yusuf Naseem Khokhar said that if he was attending the committee, then everyone should come.The PAC directed strict action against Afghan refugees for raising anti-Pakistan slogans.

PAC Member Senator Mohsen Aziz said that recently Afghans raised anti-Pakistan slogans in front of the Karachi Press Club. “Whenever there is terrorism somewhere, Pakistani identity card or passport is recovered from the terrorist,” he said.

Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan said he did not consider Afghan citizens as refugees. “Citizens of one country have been sitting in Pakistan for decades. Why are Afghans allowed to enter Pak-Afghan border without travel documents?” he asked.

The chairman PAC sought details of the Afghan nationals who got Pakistani identity cards and those whose had been canceled so far.He directed the chairman NADRA to share details of action against NADRA officials who were involved in providing identity cards to Afghans, who were the root cause of terrorism.

Noor Alam Khan said to send the names of NADRA officials being investigated by secret agencies. The Afghans who burnt the Pakistani flag in the UAE were deported by the government there and why no action was taken against them in Pakistan,” he said.

The committee observed there were many officers posted in NADRA against whom there were ISI or IB reports. “Many DGs of NADRA are involved in the recruitment of such officers,” the committee observed.

The PAC called for a briefing from chairman NADRA in the next meeting and representatives of secret agencies. Chairman NADRA told the committee it has become now difficult for Afghans to get Pakistani identity cards. He told the committee NADRA had stopped 2,427 foreigners from getting identity cards. “There is a zero-tolerance policy on corruption. If there is anything related to corruption in the knowledge of the committee, please guide me,” he told the committee.

The Chairman NADRA told the committee that a system has been created to prevent corruption. “We will give a briefing to the committee on the system to prevent the creation of cards by foreigners,” he told the committee.

The issue of sexual assault, which occurred in Fatima Jinnah Park (F-9) on February 2, 2023, also echoed in the PAC. Noor Alam Khan, while expressing concern over the incident, questioned why no action was taken against police personnel and CDA employees for their negligence. The IG Police, Islamabad, told the panel investigations were continuing. He told the committee that 900 cameras were installed in five to six months and more cameras were installed in the park also.

The IG Police was hopeful of cracking the case soon.The PAC also directed operation against tinted glass vehicles in all cities, including Islamabad, and in this regard the committee decided to write a letter to the IGPs of all four provinces and Islamabad.

The PAC recommended the removal of Chairperson SNGPL Board, Rohi Khan, from the post.Sheikh Rohail Asghar said that there was an organization that records the calls of people and the committee should ask for details of employees of this organization. He said the IB officials sit in the Parliament Lodges all day. “Throughout the day, IB, Special Branch and police personnel sit and watch every visitor. These officials should be expelled from Parliament Lodges,” he said.

Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan said that the IB will be summoned in the meeting. “The job of these agencies is to prevent terrorism and if any incident happens, then who will be responsible,” he said.