The Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has recently disseminated a list naming several Customs officers allegedly involved in smuggling activities, urging Chief Collectors and Director Generals to take disciplinary action. This move has sparked a wave of contention within the ranks, with accusations of the Chairman using this as a ploy to secure his position for an additional eight months.

An official, requesting anonymity, criticized the list for including individuals who have already retired or faced previous inquiries. The official further claimed that the list unfairly targets well-regarded and honest officers, suggesting that it may be a calculated attack against those involved in the FBR’s restructuring and the creation of the Federal Board of Customs. Notably mentioned were Mujtaba Memon and Tariq Huda, who are said to have been specifically singled out.

The official also accused the Chairman of falsely invoking the authority of intelligence agencies to lend credibility to his allegations, despite no such reports being submitted by these agencies. The official emphasized that the operational methods of sensitive intelligence agencies differ significantly from the Chairman’s approach.

An official said Amjad Tiwana was walking on the footprints of previous Chairman FBR Dr.Ashfaq who undertook a similar exercise.

The circulated list includes a range of Customs personnel from various ranks and regions, raising questions about the criteria used for their selection. The list includes: Aftab ullah Shah ADC Custom Quetta; Sajjad Inspector Intelligence Customs Quetta; Daulat Khan Inspector Custom Gate Chaman; Sikandar Sepoy Gate Chaman; Oliya Customs Official Gate Chaman; Essa Khan Inspector Customs Lackpass; Shabbir Ahmad Inspector Customs; Haji Baseer Inspector; Shahzad Akhtar Inspector; Shehryar Waseem AC Customs; Jameel Kakar Inspector; Muhammad Musa Sepoy; Noroz Ghafoor Sepoy; Muhammad Khalid Head Constable; Ahmed Nawaz Inspector; Muhammad Aslam Sub-Inspector; Sikandar Constable; Shabeer Constable; Habib Camel Man; Haji Feroz Havaldar; Hussain Jan Baloch DC Chaghi; Shabir Havaldar; Shehryar Khan DC Enforcement ; Waqar Ahmad DC Enforcement; Shafi Ullah AC Enforcement; Syed Fazal-e Samad ADC Appraisement Ouetta, Faraz Ahmad DC Appraisement; Chaudhary Javed Director I&I;  Fahad Bashir Additional Director; Abid Hussain Akro Director Directorate of General Transit Trade and Baz Gul Assistant Director.

It may be mentioned here that AC Shafiullah has already retired. Inspector Sajjad has never been in Quetta. Additional Director Fahad Bashir was a dead honest officer and even got divorced since he couldn’t afford a lavish lifestyle. Similarly, Abid Hussain Akro was a very honest officer and was known to be under the debt when he was transferred from Quetta. All the officers and officials in the list have been transferred. Chaudhry Javed had prepared a plan to stop smuggling of essential commodities but no action was taken. The officers and officials mentioned in the list made many anti-smuggling cases and seized goods worth billions of rupees.It may be mentioned here that it is the responsibility of border forces to stop smuggled goods from entering and exiting the country. In the case of essential commodities like sugar and fertilizers, Customs couldn’t stop movement of locally produced goods to any part of the country including border towns.

The official said the real target is the Federal Board of Customs because once a separate board is formed coming budget, the Inland Revenue will be exposed. IRS has a much larger staff than Customs, while Customs collects over 50% of the revenue for IRS.

The inclusion of these individuals has led to a heated debate over the legitimacy of the Chairman’s actions and the potential impact on the morale and reputation of the FBR’s staff.

The controversy sheds light on the internal dynamics of the FBR and the challenges it faces in maintaining integrity and trust among its workforce. As the situation unfolds, the FBR’s leadership is under scrutiny, and the call for transparent and fair processes is growing louder among the ranks of Customs officials.