Minister Reveals Massive Smuggling Scandal of Musharraf's Henchmen
M T Butt
ISLAMABAD, Sept 3: Within hours of announcing his cabinet, new
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz faced his first political test when
the outgoing Interior Minister accused the head honcho of politics,
just-resigned PM Choudhry Shujaat Hussain and his cronies, of
massive smuggling of illegal immigrants to UK, supported by top
aides of General Musharraf himself.
Virtually pushed out of the sensitive Interior Ministry, PPP turncoat
Faisal Saleh Hayat revealed the billions of rupees scandal, which,
in his words, had the support of powerful Gujrat politicians,
meaning the ruling clan of the Choudhries.
In an interview published on Friday in The News, Hayat
claimed that at least four top level officers of FIA facing actions
for their involvement in human smuggling from country’s
airports were instantly rescued by the Punjab government and given
top postings in the province.
He revealed that within 24 hours of dissolution of the Jamali
cabinet on June 25, at least two dozens new postings were made
by FIA bosses at Islamabad airport as at that point in time technically
there was no Interior Minister.
“To save the favorite accused officers from punitive action,
the Choudhries have given them lucrative postings in Punjab province
when I tried to punish them for their crimes,” Faisal told
Rauf Klasra of The News.
disclosures of the outgoing Interior Minister will have serious
repercussions for Pakistan-UK relations as it is for the first
time that a government minister has admitted massive human smuggling
sponsored by top politicians and officials sitting in General
It is also not clear how PM Shaukat Aziz will resolve the situation
as Faisal has been offered a cabinet slot along with 31 other
ministers most of who belong to the PML of Choudhry Shujaat Hussain.
Faisal accused Musharraf, his men and the Choudhries of not letting
him deal with the human smuggling scandal. “Let me today
make it clear to all that as an Interior Minister he had many
limitations and restriction in discharging his duties.”
said how FIA officers nabbed by him for human smuggling were protected
by Punjab government, could be judged from the single fact that
these four top level officers were given lucrative postings in
Punjab. He said first an assistant director Sajid Akram was arrested
red handed at airport but despite his efforts, FIA did not arrest
him. Faisal was offered millions for the release of Sajid who
belonged to Gujrat.
said it was on the official record that human smuggling was being
done by the recruitment agents of three districts – Gujrat,
Mandi Bahauddin and Gujranwala, all political strongholds of the
Choudhries. He said recruitment agents of Gujrat were so powerful
that despite his best efforts, he could not make the FIA to take
action against them.
He said these four accused powerful officers had such strong political
backers that despite being the Interior Minister, he could not
get them arrested.
said when he sought action against other FIA officers –
Nazar Abbas FIA director Rawalpindi, Deputy Director Passport
Cell Rawalpindi, Naeem Khan and FIA Director Lahore, he was shocked
to know that these accused officers were given lucrative postings
in Punjab province. “One was made DIG and the other is serving
as District Police Officer in Sargodha”, he claimed.
was not even authorized to make postings and transfers of senior
officers in FIA. Some powerful people were directly dealing with
this crime dealing with the FIA whose top officers were involved
in human smuggling.”
critics of Faisal Saleh Hayat had accused him of running the human
smuggling racket but it turns out that Faisal was being made a
scapegoat as in his view it were the top guns of the PML and President’s
House who were involved.
UK recently had complained that Pakistan was sending illegal immigrants
on its flights and London had threatened to stop PIA flights into
UK airports if the flow did not stop.
However Faisal said Government of Pakistan had never received
any official complaint from London against the human trafficking
as was being widely believed.
repeatedly stated how he had tried to bring about changes in the
corruption riddled FIA but his frantic efforts were always frustrated
by some powerful political and ‘other’ people who
always pressurized him.
said he too could unleash all kinds of allegations against his
‘political friends in coalition government’ as he
knew too much about their own wheeling and dealings. But, Faisal
said, he did not want to create a new ‘political crisis’
in the country by openly naming those politicians from Punjab
who were behind the malicious media campaigns against him.
Faisal particularly spoke in detail about human smuggling saying
time had come to tell who was actually responsible for this trade
that involved billions of rupees.
said in a bid to curb the rising menace of human smuggling a policy
was prepared in September 2003 and at least 150 well educated
and highly skilled girls were recruited at all immigration centers
in Pakistan as women were comparatively less prone to corruption.
He claimed that he had tried to recruit highly skilled and competent
and honest officers in FIA with clear mandate to stop human smuggling.
But, he lamented that from day one, FIA bureaucracy was not cooperating
with him as he was not even empowered to make transfers and postings
of senior bosses of FIA to execute his policy.
So, Faisal said, in that backdrop, his frantic efforts to bring
about changes in FIA were frustrated many times. “My orders
were never implemented fully’, he revealed.
said we needed to understand that human smuggling trade involved
billions of rupees and big cartels were working particularly in
three districts of Punjab and it was not an easy thing to destroy
said these powerful people knew how to protect their trade interests
and that was why, when he got the main culprit, Malik Bashir in
Lahore on charges of human smuggling, he came under heavy pressure
from all political and non political people.
claimed that even judiciary created hurdles in dealing with such
people as Malik Bashir was given bail by a judge at his home late
in the night. Ministry rushed him to Karachi as he was wanted
in another case but, once again, the accused was given bail as
he was being backed by some powerful people.
finally sought the services of the Army intelligence agency to
deal with Malik Bashir who finally revealed names of his gang
involved in the human smuggling. Faisal said even he was offered
millions of rupees to release him.