Under scrutiny: PAC panel terms Intelligence Bureau ‘ineffective’

Chairman of the panel says the IB does not need the status of a secret agency.

Sohail Chaudhry August 09, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A special committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) lashed out at the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on Monday, saying that it was no longer an effective agency and its secret funds should be audited.

During a meeting held at the Parliament House, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Noor Alam said that compared with other domestic intelligence agencies, IB had lost its effectiveness. He said secret funds allocated to the agency were not justifiable.

Alam said the agency did not require the status of a secret agency since it worked solely inside the country. “IB is supposed to focus on internal matters only,” he said.

Alam accused the bureau of being busy monitoring telephone calls of parliamentarians, instead of focusing on its ‘real job’.  “Unnecessary funds are often spent on office renovation and purchase of vehicles in IB,” said Alam.

Chairperson of the committee Yasmeen Rehman also said that the bureau should brief a competent forum, possibly a new commission formed by the government, on its funds.

During the meeting, Federal Audit Director-General (DG) Syed Gulzar Hasnain complained about the spy agency’s unwillingness to audit its accounts. “The IB authorities are always reluctant to appear before audit officials,” Hasnain said.

The DG also noted that there was no justification for allocating secret funds to any government institution and that the finance ministry had been allocating secret funds against rules. He urged the parliamentarians to avoid the misuse of funds. “Furniture and luxury vehicles are always purchased from the secret funds allocated to such institutions,” he said.

Although IB Finance Director Nazar Gull briefed the meeting, the committee members and audit officials termed his remarks ‘unsatisfactory’.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.

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