|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Attack on FIA office in Pak: Terrorists prove a point
B Raman | March 12, 2008 00:32 IST
Last Updated: March 12, 2008 02:49 IST
One of their targets was the local headquarters of the FIA in which 14 members of the staff and six others were killed.
The second target was an office of an advertising agency in a residential area in which four persons, two of them children, were killed.
The FIA is the Pakistani equivalent of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It is the principal agency for the investigation of all corruption-related cases.
It also co-ordinates terrorism-related investigations. It is one of the three central police agencies of
The FIA is largely manned by police officers taken on deputation from the provinces and direct recruits. President Pervez Musharraf [Images] had inducted a number of serving and retired military officers into it to monitor the investigation of corruption-related cases against Benazir Bhutto [Images], Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders.
Before the recent elections and thereafter, the investigations into all the corruption-related cases against Benazir and Zardari were discontinued on the orders of Musharraf, but not the investigations against Nawaz.
Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani withdrew from it the serving military officers deputed for monitoring the investigations.
The FIA had always been considered a highly politicised agency used by different leaders for witch-hunt against their opponents. It became particularly controversial during the second tenure of Benazir as the Prime Minister from 1993 to 1996. Zardari was accused of misusing the FIA and its officers for allegedly harassing his political opponents and businessmen, who were reluctant to pay commissions.
Before Benazir returned from political exile on
Zardari, then based in
When Farooq Leghari, the then President of
Despite this, he continues to enjoy the confidence of Zardari and acts as one of his principal advisers. He also acts as the liaison man with the security agencies for ensuring the physical security of Zardari.
The present wave of suicide attacks started after the commando raid in the Lal Masjid in July, 2007. Initially, the suicide terrorists were targeting the Army, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Special Services Group (SSG), a US-trained commando group of the Army, all of which were involved in the Lal Masjid raid.
They then attacked political leaders, who had supported the commando action. This included some workers of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), who were attacked in
He escaped two suicide attacks. They then attacked targets in the Army, the Frontier Corps and the Air Force, which were involved in the military operations in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Thereafter, they attacked the
The Pakistan Navy is a member of a multi-nation naval task force which provides naval cover to the
They have also attacked provincial police units and officers. Many police officers performing physical security duties were killed when the jihadis attacked non-police targets.
Now, for the first time, they have attacked an important office of a central police agency. Like the CBI in
It has been monitoring and co-ordinating the investigation of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto allegedly at the instance of Baitullah Mehsud, the Amir of the Tehrik-e-Taliban
It is not yet clear why the jihadis attacked the advertising agency.