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January 4, 2019

FIA slammed for raiding SECP HQ


January 4, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) policy board Khalid Mirza has lambasted Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for raiding the commission office calling it a criminal act.

The agency officials had raided SECP headquarters last week and seized record. The FIA team acted after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on fake accounts case implicated the acting Chairman of the Commission Tahir Mahmood In its report for involvement in illegal takeover of banks and their merger with Summit Bank on behalf of former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Mirza also refuted claims of Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry about acting SECP chairman fleeing the country and said Tahir Mehmood was on official leave and the minister was misguided. “The FIA raid was a criminal act as it was in total violation of law. I will go to Supreme Court and I will take up this issue with the government as no official of SECP can work under this environment of intimidation,” said Mirza, who was appointed by PTI government recently.

Talking to The News on telephone, Mirza said SECP does not have its own army or guns but that does not mean FIA violates law and harass our officials. “They came with guards and guns without any permission. Under SECP Act such kinds of agencies are not allowed to raid the office of the regulator. This act deserves to be condemned,” Mirza said.

He said the raid has hurt the image of the corporate regulator which deserves respect for its role in serving the country. Khalid Mirza, former chairman SECP and Competition Commission of Pakistan is credited for spearheading the implementation of major programmes for the capital markets and introducing corporate sector reforms.

Mirza said SECP fully backs PTI government’s move against corruption but that does not mean FIA or other agencies should use illegal means.

He also criticised JIT for leveling “baseless” allegations against Tahir Mehmood. “The allegations against Tahir Mehmood are meaningless as SECP has nothing to do with the merger of banks,” he said. He wondered what mergers of banks had to do with money laundering or fake accounts or SECP.

Khalid Mirza had in past played a pivotal role in transforming the Monopoly Control Authority into a modern competition agency and has also served as the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Chief of Mission in Turkey and Chief of Regional Mission in Thailand.

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