FIA launches investigation

IMRAN MUKHTAR - The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is conducting an inquiry against some officials of the Passports Directorate for illegally issuing around 3,000 passports to Afghan nationals from a single passport office, sources aware of the development Wednesday informed.

This has made the volatile security situation of the country worse at a time when general elections are being held on May 11. A senior officer of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports (DG I&P) wishing not to be named said that the scam surfaced some time ago from passport office at Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi. He also claimed that there are thousands of such cases in which passports had been illegally issued to Afghan nationals.

The official said that Farrukh, an Assistant Director, was the in-charge of the Gujar Khan Passport Office when the fraud of issuance of 2927 passports to Afghan nationals from there came in the limelight.

A source privy to the development said that Furrukh was basically a hardware engineer of the directorate and Director General of Immigration and Passports Syed Wajid Bokhari appointed had him in-charge of the Gjuar Khan Passport Office while flouting the rules.

When an officer of the Immigration Wing of FIA was contacted, he said that he was not sure about the case as they had a number of a number of immigration cases under probe.

"How we can monitor the activities of aliens especially Afghan nationals when the Passport Office was illegally involved in issuing them Pakistani passports," an official of a civilian intelligence agency said.

He further said any Afghan national could roam freely in the country and travel abroad at his own will when he had a valid Pakistani passport.

He also disclosed that the agency had also some kind of information that Passports Directorate was allegedly involved in issuance of Pakistani passports to Afghan nationals.