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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Thursday constituted a sub-committee to probe the raid conducted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Islamabad police at the residence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazi.

The meeting,which was held with Senator Mohsin Aziz in the chair, formed the sub-committee, after a detailed discussion over the matter.

The committee formedthe sub-committee under the covenorship of Senator Kamil Ali Agha. Senators Faisal Salim and Rana Maqbool will be members of the sub-committee.

The chairman said that the sub-committee will probe whether the website (www.namanzoor.com) on the basis of which the agency had raided the senator’s house was a secret website. Did any female FIA personnel accompany the team that raided the house of the PTI senator? another question that the sub-committee will ask the concerned officials.

The sub-committee also investigate whether the raiding team had a search warrant at the time of the raid or was it obtained after conducting the raid.

At the start of the meeting, the chairman committee and other PTI members expressed their anger over the absence of FIA officer Imran Haider who led the raiding team.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) senator said that the committee has summoned the FIA official, Imran Haider, by name but he did not appear before it, therefore, the committee needs to move a privilege motion against him.

Interior Minister Sanaullah said that it is not appropriate that you call the head of an institution and also summon an inspector-level officer of the same institution. If you want to call the officer who led the raid you can but Director General (DG) FIA is present in the meeting and he will answer your questions, he further said.

On this, Aziz said that the committee had taken a suo moto on this issue but no officer attended the previous meeting, then he wrote a letter to the secretary Ministry of Interior. We had issued summons to Imran Haider but he did not appear before the committee, he said, adding that this is a question of respect for the parliament.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senator Rana Maqbool said that the committee chairman has not taken us into confidence regarding the matter.

Aziz said that during this raid, as far as his information is concerned, no female FIA or police personnel was present at the time. Saifullah Niazi’s family members were harassed and the raiding team violated the sanctity of Chadar and Char Diwari.

He said that law enforcement agencies cannot raid the house of a senator without taking permission from the chairman senate.

PTI senator Azam Swati said that the committee wants the officer who obtained the search warrant and then conducted the raid to appear before the parliamentary body.

The officer, Imran Haider, must appear before the committee as we want to ask some questions from him, he said, adding that if he committed any illegal work then the committee will write a letter to the Ministry of Interior for taking action against him.

“You are saying that you only want to ask questions from Imran Haider, then why did you call us to the committee”, Sanaullah asked.

Aziz said that this was contempt of parliament as we had issued summon to Haider.

To this,the interior minister said that then you should summon the whole raiding party which comprised about 100 personnel.

If Haider has done anything wrong the DG FIA is responsible, he said.

Sanaullah told the committee that if the DG FIA failed to give satisfactory answers to your question then summon FIA official Haider. If he failed to satisfy you then summon the prime minister, he further said.

Senator Swati said that according to rule 187(4) he was summoned and only questions were to be asked but he did not appear before the committee, we cannot question the DGFIA who was not present at the time of raid.

Senator Shahzad Waseem said that the sanctity of Chadarand Char Diwari was not taken into account in the circumstances in which the raid against Senator Saifullah took place. The way the raid was conducted, is this procedure correct? Because the magistrate and the ladies police should also be present there and the Chairman senate should also know about the raid, he said.

Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman said that instead of raiding Nyazi’s house if the FIA had sent a notice to him and ask him to produce mobile and other things before it, what was wrong with that? What will the neighbours of the senator think after the raiding of his house by so many personnel? he asked. He said that the way the raid was conducted no parliamentarian will support it.

The DG FIA, Mohsin Butt, while briefing the committee, said that several high-profile inquiries are currently underway in the FIA, including politicians but no one has been humiliated. We have provided them questionnaires and asked them to assist the investigators, he said. “Being a head of FIA, if there is any pressure on me from any side, I will not take it”, he said.

About the raid, he said that the raid on Senator Nyazi house was conducted by the agency officer after taking permission from him. The officer told him that he wants to recover some equipment, he said, adding that it was not a raid, it was a search operation, and a search was conducted with a search warrant, he said.

He said that the senator cooperated with the FIA officials and he himself handed his mobile and laptop to the team.

The committee chairman asked was there any lady officer? Did the agency take permission from Chairman Senate before the raid?

The DG FIA said that a female FIA officer were present during the raid. To this, Senator Nyazi said that no lady officer accompanied the raiding party.

The meeting was also attended by Senator Moula Bux Chandio, Shahadat Awan, Fawzia Arshad, Dilwar Khan, Azam Nazeer Tarar, and senior officials of the ministry of interior.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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