KARACHI: The government is planning a ‘crack down’ against bureaucrats having dual nationality, as the high-ups have received reports by sensitive agencies pertaining to the corruption and money-laundering by government officers, especially those having dual nationality.

Source privy to the high-level circles said that discussions are underway at PM House level, and a very powerful committee is likely to be formed to investigate the affairs of government officers ranging from Grade-16 to Grade-21, who had private foreign visits during the course of their employment with government of Pakistan.

It was learnt that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is top of the list and Grade-16 to Grade-21 officers of Inland Revenue and Customs will go through a scrutiny. The travel history of the said FBR officers is reported to be derived from FIA and Immigration and those having abnormal number of foreign visits would have to clarify their position. Moreover, their passports (private) would also be analyzed to know whether they had any other nationality or just travelled on visas.

DG I&I Customs Lutfullah Virk and DG I&I IRS Haroon Tareen are known to be heading the committee to investigate laundering of money made through corruption. Sources said this is going to be a confidential inquiry and would not be propagated.

It was known that a number of government officers had dual nationalities but they never declared that, besides a bill is set to be presented in the assembly barring promotion of Grade-20 officer into Grade-21, if he or she has dual nationality.

These investigations are primarily aimed to identify the money laundering cases, as FBR officers made billions of rupees through corruption and most of it was moved to other countries.

It was known that DGs of Intelligence & Investigation of FBR would have complete authority and power and could appoint, post and nominate officers even in FIA to conduct the inquiries. It may be mentioned here that corrupt elements have strong links in FIA top bras. Many inquiries by FIA were not finalized logically despite availability of all evidence.

Sources said a number of IRS and Customs officers ranging Grade 16 to Grade 21 have made huge investments in real estate abroad, many have setup super stores and restaurants in US, Canada, etc.

It may be recalled that recently a parliamentary committee asked the Establishment Division to take an affidavit from the bureaucrats, which should state that they do not posses dual nationality.

The committee chairman asked the Establishment Division what guarantee they had that these officials with dual nationality would not compromise state secrets.

The committee said that the dual nationality ban was only limited to politicians, while the government officers of grade 18 and above can get nationality of any foreign country. It pointed out that laws exist for civil servants that require them to relinquish dual nationality before joining the civil service academy, but they violate it.

Bureaucrats appeared to be above the law and many officers working on high posts, have the nationality of the other countries. Members of the committee opined that the officials with dual nationality cannot be sincere with the country and can become agents of foreign countries in Pakistan. The committee directed the Establishment Division to take necessary steps to check the acquisition of dual nationality by the bureaucrats and, if needed, should also go for legislation to put an end to this.