LAHORE - The FIA Lahore zonal office is giving immigration allowance to its officials not performing immigration duties, said sources in the FIA.

They said immigration allowance was 60 percent of the basic current salary and it was not being paid on merit; rather blue-eyed officials of the administration office of the director have been blessed with the said allowance.

The sources claimed that only the officials performing duties at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Wagah Border and Wagah Railway Station were entitled to such allowance, but most of the officials performing duties at the FIA Lahore zonal office were drawing immigration allowance with the tacit consent of senior officers.

The zonal office staffers benefiting from the allowance include senior clerks, Tahir Hashmi, Muhammad Saleem Kalia and Muhammad Hussain, head constables, Tauqeer Shah and Khalid, assistant Rizwan Ahmad, head clerk Muhammad Sajid, Muhammad Javed (a class-four employee), ASI Ghulam Mustafa, Orderly Soofi Nazir and Naib Qasids, Abdur Razzaq and Ijaz Shah.

The new FIA director has also appointed head constable Mushtaq as motor transport officer (MTO), ignoring a senior official, Sub Inspector Shabbir. Similarly, Sub Inspector Manzoor Elahi nearing the age of superannuation demanded his posting as MTO, but his case was not considered. Manzoor retired last month, but could not succeed in managing his posting as MTO; perhaps, he was not so influential or well-connected in FIA.

The sources also said that FIA was discouraging registration of new cases and inquiries due to which human smugglers were roaming freely and busy looting people without any fear of the agency. They disclosed that most of the inquiries regarding human smugglers were registered by FIA on the directions of courts.

An officer of FIA, seeking anonymity, said those visiting the FIA office for getting their complaints registered are not accommodated and the lower staff asks them to go to courts to for registration of their cases. An applicant, Aadil, talking to The Nation, said he had been visiting the FIA office for more than one month in connection with registration of an inquiry against an accused, but the staff was asking him to get a court’s order under sections 22-A and 22-B of CrPC. Another applicant, Zafar Iqbal, a resident of Jhang and working in Lahore in a private firm, said he had failed to just get his case registered despite his nine-month struggle. “I was defrauded by a human smuggler of Mughalpura Lahore. I contacted the FIA office first time on September 25, 2013, and my application was received under dairy No-11806. I repeatedly visited the FIA office till the end of April 2014, but my application was never entertained and, ultimately, I was told that my application has been misplaced. I was asked to give a fresh application and on April 28, 2014, I submitted a fresh application containing the same charges, but despite the passage of 10 days, no action has been taken against the human smuggler so far.”

When contacted, an FIA spokesman, Khawaja Hammad, said that immigration allowance was also being awarded to the officials who were performing security duty. Regarding the issue of new inquiries, he said some people contact courts without coming to the FIA office. There is no policy to discourage registration of new inquiries, he clarified.