FIA under fire

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Ch Nisar’s claims

Finally someone takes the FIA to task. And Ch Nisar has done it in quite some style. He disappeared (again) for a while, then emerged from the shadows with a bold statement. And FIA has been given 90 days to pull its act together, otherwise the interior minister will disband it. All that is fine. Clearly the Agency has left a little something to be desired over the years, to say the least. But there’s a little about Nisar’s threat that is cause for concern.

Since Ch Nisar’s ministry oversees the Agency, shouldn’t he directly take the blame for its inefficiency and corruption rather than putting it squarely on FIA? And why has it taken him this long to realise that the Agency remains just as regressive under his watch? Also, how realistic is the 90-day deadline? Of course, some of the cases he mentioned will not take too long to wrap up – since they are pretty much done and dusted and all that is wanting is political will – but other areas are more challenging. It is interesting, for example, that Nisar mentioned issues like pressure from the ruling party, etc, but going after big fish who have looted the country dry for decades is indeed a challenging task and will need a lot more time. But if Nisar can provide the requisite will, he would have done something.

That, of course, is what makes statements like these all the more important. Nisar has now staked his reputation on reforming FIA; a tall order under any circumstances, and all the more so when they are self-created. But it’s not as if track record inspires much confidence. Even now, he has been absent from most of the PM’s important meetings, and word about his ‘disconnect’ with Nawaz is doing the rounds in Islamabad. Also, his ministry has not been up to scratch either. The National Action Plan (NAP) never made it beyond news headlines, and even the capital is not properly secured. So perhaps it’s best if the interior minister weighs his outbursts more carefully, especially if they come between prolonged disappearances.