LAHORE – The FIA has miserably failed to arrest proclaimed offenders and 1,641 of them are yet to be arrested by only its Anti-Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC), reliable sources confided to TheNation on Friday.

They said the performance of the FIA had been declining since the day Waqar Haider took charge as the director. A senior officer of the agency said on condition of anonymity that the Waqar was given this charge as a reward for facilitating Moonis Elahi, a PML-Q leader and the son of Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, during his detention as an accused in the NICL scam.

As per statistics, the number of proclaimed offenders wanted by the AHTC at the end of 2011 was 1,410. In the first five months of this year, the AHTC has arrested 133 of those, while 364 new ones have been added. Similarly, 1,424 court absconders were wanted by the AHTC in 2011, of whom 148 were arrested during the year. The pendency of court absconders currently stands at 1,397.

In the Anti-Corruption Circle (ACC), 35 proclaimed offenders were pending from 2011, of whom four have been arrested this year, while three new ones have been added. The pendency of court absconders currently stands at five.

In the Commercial Bank Circle (CBC) and the Cyber Crime Circle (CCC), 55 proclaimed offenders were pending from 2011, of whom 13 have been arrested this year, while 18 new ones have been added.

 This means 60 proclaimed offenders are yet to be arrested by the two circles. The pendency of court absconders currently stands at 12.

Although the FIA is all set to conduct more raids this year that last year, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. As per statistics, it conducted 35 raids last year while it has conducted 15 raids in only the first five months of this year. Similarly, the AHTC conducted 87 raids last year while it has conducted 47 raids in only the first five months of this year.

An officer of the FIA, seeking anonymity, said officers and inquiry officers take interest in only those cases that could be financially beneficial for them. Another officer said the main reason behind poor performance of the FIA was lack of resources. “Considering that some of the basic facilities are not available to FIA officers, how could they show better performance?” he asked.

Another officer held FIA Director Waqar Haider responsible for these shortcomings and said he did not take interest in solving the problems of the staff. Waqar was not available for comments.