ISLAMABAD -  Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director General Aftab Sultan yesterday told the Senate Committee that Indian spy agency RAW and Afghan intelligence agency NDS were potential threats to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Giving a briefing to the Senate’s standing committee on security of the CPEC, the IB DG said that intelligence reports suggested that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were active to sabotage the project. “We are keeping a close eye on their activities,” he said. The committee met at the parliament house.

IB chief also said that some intelligence reports suggested that militant organizations including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan ((TTP) Lashker-e-Jhangvi, East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were also a potential threat to the multi-billion project of China and Pakistan.

On the question of committee Chairman JUI-F Senator Talha Mahmood as to why the intelligence agencies have not nabbed such networks of foreign intelligence agencies, the IB DG said that the sensitivity was involved in the matter. “Such networks should be exposed,” said Talha Mahmood and referred to arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav from Balochistan. He also directed that the country’s intelligence and security agencies should give a foolproof security to the CPEC.

Aftab Sultan said that IB offices would be established alongside the route of CPEC. “We will not allow the militant organizations and foreign intelligence agencies to succeed in their design to sabotage CPEC,” he said.

The IB DG also admitted that IB and ISI were permitted to tape phones in the greater national interest and for national security of the country. “Due to the exact intelligence information provided by IB, terrorism activities in the country have considerably decreased during the last three years.” He said.

The committee directed that a special wing of intelligence should be established for CPEC to thwart designs of the enemy to derail the project.

About the delay in verification of citizenship of Pakistanis by the IB, DG said that the agency was facing shortage of manpower. He said that interior ministry had sent a list of 2500 people including employees of ministry for the verification of their CNICs (computerized national identity cards).

“The Nadra has sent data of 31,566 CNICs for re-verification and out of which reports on 500 CNICs have been sent back to the registration authority.” He also praised Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for his efforts to discontinue the practice of issuance of CNICs by Nadra to foreigners. Responding to a question, he said that only two Nadra employees having foreign citizenship had been traced and both had been sacked from service. He said that interior ministry had formed a new verification system under which CNICs would be verified district wise at provincial level.

Giving briefing about the operations of the Bureau, the DG said that IB held 5,000 operations during 2013 to 2016 and 865 most wanted terrorists had been arrested and 171 killed during its operations.

Chairman Nadra Usman Mubeen, briefing the committee, said that IB had sent 1822 suspicious cases of citizenship to the authority and all these CNICs had been blocked after verification. He said that refugees had been issued PoR (proof of registration) cards for their repatriation under the UNHCR money package but some of them went back after getting money.

Senator Shahi Syed pointed towards the issue of politicisation in Karachi police and said that about 1,400 open letters were issued for the recruitments in Karachi police and out of these 300 people were employed who were wanted in murder cases.