By Rana Mushtaq
Public Accounts Committee in unison directed on Tuesday to Auditor General of Pakistan to approach all competent forums to get permission for conducting audit of secret services funds of main spy agencies ISI and IB. Public Accounts Committee issued such directions when the Auditor General of Pakistan Rana Amin said Attorney General of Pakistan has barred them from giving rulings to carry out audit of spy agencies including ISI and IB secret funds accounts in the wake of amendments in the law enacted in 2014 by the incumbent federal government of Nawaz Sharif.
Public Accounts Committee chairman Khurshid Shah also advised the auditor general of Pakistan to file a contempt of court case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan for seeking fresh guidelines and interpretation of the laws which barred the audit of secret funds accounts of sensitive institutions of the country.
AGP also divulged before a jam-packed PAC meeting that the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, also permitted and ordered the Auditor General to conduct an audit of all public money, and said no institution was above the law. He said before the 2014 audit of IB secret services funds was conducted that the report was confidential and only two senior officers of AG office are privy to the report.
PTI’s flamboyant parliamentarian Shafqat Mehmood remarked that members of the PAC were custodians of public money and wanted to know the nature of its disbursements. A Public Accounts committee meeting was held at parliament house on Tuesday with Khurshid Shah as opposition leader in the chair to peruse the audit objection of Ministry of Interior and Port Qasim accounts.
The Auditor General of Pakistan stunned the meeting by announcing that president National Bank had sought a court stay order for barring audit office to provide financial record for audit and now Audit department had challenged the SHC stay order passed in favour of NBP.
He said that the Supreme Court had already asked the government to abolish secret services fund from all ministries of federal government due to its misuse and added now only two government organisations, ISI and IB, had secret service funds.
The public accounts committee also directed the Interior secretary of the federal government to pay Rs 120 million to Atta Ullah Mangal, a Baloch nationalist leader to get his 137 acre land situated in Wadh area of restive province Baluchistan transferred to FC.
Mehmood Khan Achakzai revealed that some officers of the Balochistan government were going to purchase a piece of land in the suburb of Quetta at high rates and thus going to cause a Rs 60 million loss to the national exchequer. He revealed that the actual price of land was only Rs 90 lakh, but the government officials were going to purchase this land at a cost of Rs 60 million. In this scam, some big fish of the government were also involved.
An audit officer told that Interior ministry that Rs 450 million had been disbursed from its secret service funds and now the ministry was reluctant to provide the record and details of its expenditure to conduct an audit. The Public accounts committee then directed the interior secretary to provide all relevant information and record of secret funds to AGP for audit as it was compulsory under the law. It also sought compliance of its order within a stipulated time.
The meeting was informed that NADRA was seeking more than one billion rupees from the finance ministry for providing free identity cards to people and now the project had been shelved forever for want of funds.
The NADRA chairman admitted that some miscreant officers of NADRA were involved in fake identity cards scam but now a foolproof system had been set up to discourage such elements from playing havoc with the security of the country.
The proposal to give power of verification of ID forms to parliamentarian has been shelved as it had been declared unfeasible, the interior secretary said.courtesy Daily Times.