The government finally transferred Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General (DG) Javed Iqbal to the post of Ministry of Narcotics Control (MNC) Secretary on Friday.
Iqbal has been replaced by Fayyaz Ahmad Leghari as the FIA DG, while acting MNC Secretary Zafar Abbas Lak was appointed the Inspector General (IG) of National Highway and Motorway Police – a post vacant since Wajid Durrani retired on May 25, 2012.
The top-level shuffle marks the eighth time in four years the current government has transferred the chief of the country’s premier investigation agency. The Establishment Division notification in this regard was issued on Friday afternoon.
Iqbal took over as FIA DG on February 20 this year after he was transferred from the post of Punjab police IG. Less than three months after his appointment to the post, the government announced a shuffle on May 11 swapping his post with MNC Secretary Lak and vice versa. However, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani – on an official trip to the UK at the time – halted the shuffle the very next day.
Fayyaz Leghari was appointed Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Establishment Division by the government, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders in the case of Sarfaraz Shah’s extra-judicial killing by the Rangers, from his previous post as Sindh police IG.
The federal government initially decided to appoint Leghari as the FIA DG on June 14, 2011. Then Islamabad police IG Wajid Durrani would have been appointed Sindh police IG under the same decision. Leghari’s appointment as FIA DG was favoured by President Asif Ali Zardari, while PM Gilani favoured Tahsin Anwar Ali Shah for the slot. Eventually, on June 20, 2011, Shah was appointed the FIA DG at the eleventh hour.
According to sources familiar with the developments, PM Gilani’s current desire to appoint Zafar Abbas Lak as the FIA DG was intended as a reward for the steps he took to rescue Ali Musa Gilani in the Ephedrine scandal.
At the same time, Lak also enjoyed favour from the Chaudhrys of Gujrat – active coalition partners of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led (PPP) government –, the sources revealed. A member of the Chaudhry family confirmed that Lak is married to the daughter of Chaudhry Tajjamal Hussain, first cousin to Chaudhry Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik was already dissatisfied with outgoing FIA DG Javed Iqbal and preferred the appointment of Leghari to the agency’s top slot, sources claimed. They added, however, that the PM asked Malik to convince the Chaudhrys regarding Leghari’s appointment instead of Lak and in case he failed, a third candidate would be posted as the FIA DG.
After a consensus and the Presidency’s intervention, the Establishment Division appointed Leghari to the slot, sources said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2012.